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Volume  I.   Feast  of  SolhauK,  I^ady  Inger,  Love's 

"       II.  The  VikiiiRS  at  Helgeland,  The  Pro- 

"      III.   Brand 
"      IV.   Peer  Oynt 

"        V.   Emperor  and  Galilean  (2  parts) 
"      VI.   League  of  Youth,  Pillars  of  Society 
"     VII.   A  Dolls  House,  Ghosts 
"  VIII.   An  Enemy  of  the  People,  The  ^Vild 

"      IX.  Rosmersholm,  Lndy  from  the  Sea 

X.   Hedda  Gal.ler.  :\Iaster  Builder 
"      XI.   Little  Eyolf,  .John  Gabriel  Borkman, 

When  We  Dead  Awaken 





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W  I  L  L  I  A  M     ARCH  K  11 



Copyright,  1907,  by  Charles  Serihner's  Sonx 


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Introduction  to  "An  Enemy  of  thk  People"    .      vii 

Introduction  to  "The  Wild  Duck"        .      -      .    xvii 

"  An  Enemy  of  the  People  " 1 

Translated  by  Mrs.  Eleanor  Marx-Aveling 

"The  Wild  Duck" 189 

Translated  by  Mrs.  Frances  E.  Archer 



From  Pillars  of  Society  to  John  Gabriel  BorJc- 
man,  all  Ibsen's  plays,  with  one  exception,  suc- 
ceeded each  other  at  intervals  of  two  years.  The 
single  exception  was  An  Enemy  of  the  People. 
The  storm  of  obloquy  which  greeted  Ghosts 
stirred  him  to  unwonted  rapidity  of  production. 
Ghosts  had  appeared  in  December  1881 ;  already, 
in  the  spring  of  1882,  Ibsen,  then  living  in  Rome, 
was  at  work  upon  its  successor;  and  he  finished 
it  at  Gossensass,  in  the  Tyrol,  in  the  early  au- 
tumn. It  appeared  in  Copenhagen  at  the  end 
of  November. 

John  Paulsen^  relates  an  anecdote  of  the 
poet's  extreme  secretiveness  during  the  process 
of  composition,  which  may  find  a  place  here: 
"  One  summer  he  was  travelling  by  rail  with 
his  wife  and  son.  He  was  engaged  upon  a  new 
play  at  the  time;  but  neither  Fru  Ibsen  nor 
Sigurd  had  any  idea  as  to  what  it  was  about. 
Of  course  they  were  both  vei-y  curious.  It  hap- 
pened that,  at  a  station,  Ibsen  left  the  carriage 
for  a  few  moments.    As  he  did  so  he  dropped  a 

1  Samliv  med  Ibsen,  p.  173. 
*  Copyright,  19o7,  by  Charles  Scribner's  Sons. 


Vlll  AS     K.NKMV    OF    Till:     riCOPLE, 

sfniji  of  jiapcr.  His  wife  picked  it  ui»,  ami  read 
on  it  only  the  words,  '  The  doctor  says.  .  .  .' 
Xothin^r  more.  Fru  Ihsen  showed  it  laughingly 
to  Sigurd,  and  said,  *  Now  we  will  tease  your 
father  a  little  when  he  comes  back.  He  will  be 
horrified  to  find  that  we  know  anything  of  his 
play.'  When  Ibsen  entered  his  carriage  his 
wife  looked  at  him  roguishly,  and  said,  '  What 
doctor  is  it  that  figures  in  your  new  piece?  I 
am  sure  he  must  have  many  interesting  things 
to  say.'  But  if  she  could  have  foreseen  the  effect 
of  her  innocent  jest,  Fru  Ibsen  would  certainly 
have  held  her  tongue.  For  Ibsen  was  speechless 
with  surprise  and  rage.  When  at  last  he  re- 
covered his  speech,  it  was  to  utter  a  torrent  of 
reproaches.  What  did  this  mean  ?  W^as  he  not 
safe  in  his  own  house  ?  Was  he  surrounded  with 
spies?  Had  his  locks  been  tampered  with,  his 
desk  rifled?  And  so  forth,  and  so  forth.  His 
wife,  who  had  listened  with  a  quiet  smile  to  the 
rising  tempest  of  his  wrath,  at  last  handed  him 
the  scrap  of  paper.  *  We  know  nothing  more 
than  what  is  written  upon  this  slip  which  you 
let  fall.  Allow  me  to  return  it  to  you.'  There 
stood  Ibsen  crestfallen.  All  his  suspicions  had 
vanished  into  thin  air.  The  play  on  which  he 
was  occupied  proved  to  be  An  Enemy  of  the 
People,  and  the  doctor  was  none  other  than  our 
f)ld  friend  Stockmann,  the  good-hearted  and 
muddleheaded  reformer,  for  whom  Jonas  Lie 
I)artly  served  as  a  model." 

The  indignation  which  glows  in  An  Enemy  of 
the  People  was  kindled,  in  the  main,  by  the  atti- 
tude adoi)ted  towards  Ghosts  by  the  Norwegian 
Liberal    press   and    the    "  compact    majority "   it 


represented.  But  the  image  on  which  the  play 
rings  the  changes  was  present  to  the  poet's  mind 
before  Ghosts  was  written.  On  December  19, 
1879 — a  fortnight  after  the  publication  of  A 
DolVs  House — Ibsen  wrote  to  Professor  Dietrich- 
son  :  "  It  appears  to  me  doubtful  whether  better 
artistic  conditions  can  be  attained  in  Norway 
before  the  intellectual  soil  has  been  thoroughly 
turned  up  and  cleansed,  and  all  the  swamps 
drained  off."  Here  we  have  clearly  the  germ  of 
An  Enemy  of  the  People.  The  image  so  took 
hold  of  Ibsen  that  after  applying  it  to  social 
life  in  this  play,  he  recurred  to  it  in  The  Wild 
Duck,  in  relation  to  the  individual  life. 

The  mood  to  which  we  definitely  owe  An 
Enemy  of  the  People  appears  very  clearly  in  a 
letter  to  George  Brandes,  dated  January  3,  1882, 
in  which  Ibsen  thanks  him  for  his  criticism  of 
Ghosts.  "  What  are  we  to  say,"  he  proceeds, 
"  of  the  attitude  taken  up  by  the  so-called  Lib- 
eral press — by  those  leaders  who  speak  and  write 
about  freedom  of  action  and  thought,  and  at  the 
same  time  make  themselves  the  slaves  of  the 
supposed  opinions  of  their  subscribers?  I  am 
more  and  more  confirmed  in  my  belief  that 
there  is  something  demoralising  in  engaging  in 
politics  and  joining  parties.  I,  at  any  rate,  shall 
never  be  able  to  join  a  party  which  has  the  ma- 
jority on  its  side.  Bjoi'nson  says,  '  The  majority 
is  always  right ' ;  and  as  a  practical  politician  he 
is  bound,  I  suppose,  to  say  so.  I  on  the  con- 
trary, of  necessity  say,  '  The  minority  is  always 
right.'  Naturally  I  am  not  thinking  of  that 
minority  of  stagnationists  who  are  left  behind  by 
the  great  middle  party,  which  with  us  is  called 

A  N    i:  \  i:  M  V   t-i  I"  T 1 1 1:    im:  o  !•  l  i-:  . 

Kil»eral;  I  iiu'iin  lliat  minority  wliidi  leads  the 
van,  and  pushes  on  to  i)oints  wliirli  the  majority 
has  not  yet  reaehed.  1  hokl  that  that  man  is 
in  the  right  wlio  is  most  closely  in  league  with 
the  future." 

The  same  letter  closes  with  a  passage  which 
foreshadows  not  only  An  Enemy  of  the  People, 
but  liosmersholm:  "  When  I  think  how  slow  and 
heavy  and  dull  the  {general  intellig-ence  is  at 
home,  when  I  notice  the  low  standard  by  which 
everything  is  judged,  a  deep  despondency  comes 
over  me,  and  it  often  seems  to  me  that  I  might 
just  as  well  end  my  literary  activity  at  once. 
They  really  do  not  need  poetry  at  home;  they 
get  along  so  well  with  the  Parliamentary  News 
and  the  Lutheran  Weekly.  And  then  they  have 
their  party  papers.  I  have  not  the  gifts  that  go 
to  make  a  good  citizen,  nor  yet  the  gift  of  ortho- 
doxy; and  what  I  possess  no  gift  for  I  keep  out 
of.  Liberty  is  the  first  and  highest  condition  for 
me.  At  home  they  do  not  trouble  much  about 
liberty,  but  only  about  liberties,  a  few  more  or 
a  few  less,  according  to  the  standpoint  of  their 
party.  I  feel,  too,  most  painfully  affected  hy  the 
crudity,  the  plebeian  element,  in  all  our  public 
discussion.  The  very  praiseworthy  attempt  to 
make  of  our  people  a  democratic  community  has 
inadvertently  gone  a  good  way  towards  making 
us  a  plebeian  community,  distinction  of  soul 
seems  to  be  on  the  decline  at  home.!-' 

So  early  as  March  16,  1882,  Ibsen  announces 
to  his  publisher  that  he  is  "  fully  occupied  with 
preparations  for  a  new  play."  "  This  time,"  he 
says,  "  it  will  be  a  peaceable  production  which 
can  be  read  by  Ministers  of  State  and  wholes 


sale  mercliants  and  their  ladies,  and  from  which 
the  theatres  will  not  be  obliged  to  recoil.  Its 
execution  will  come  very  easy  to  me,  and  I  shall 
do  my  best  to  have  it  ready  pretty  early  in  the 
autumn."  In  this  he  was  successful.  From 
Gossensass  on  September  9.^  he  wrote  to  Hegel: 
"  I  have  the  pleasure  of  sending  you  herewith 
the  remainder  of  the  manuscript  of  my  new 
play.  I  have  enjoyed  writing  this  piece,  and  I 
feel  quite  lost  and  lonely  now  that  it  is  out  of 
hand.  Dr.  Stockmann  and  I  got  on  excellently 
together;  we  agree  on  so  many  subjects.  But  the 
Doctor  is  a  more  muddleheaded  person  than  I 
am,  and  he  has,  moreover,  several  other  charac- 
teristics because  of  which  people  will  stand  hear- 
ing a  good  many  things  from  him  which  they 
might  perhaps  not  have  taken  in  such  very  good 
part  had  they  been  said  by  me." 

A  letter  to  Brandes,  written  six  months  after 
the  appearance  of  the  play  (June  12,  1883),  an- 
swers some  objection  which  the  critic  seems  to 
have  made — of  what  nature  we  can  only  guess: 
"As  to  An  Enemy  of  the  People,  if  we  had  a 
chance  to  discuss  it  I  think  we  should  come  to  a 
tolerable  agreement.  You  are,  of  course,  right 
in  urging  that  we  must  all  work  for  the  spread 
of  our  opinions.  But  I  maintain  that  a  fighter 
at  the  intellectual  outposts  can  never  gather  a 
majority  around  him.  In  ten  years,  perhaps, 
the  majority  may  occupy  the  standpoint  which 
Dr.  Stockmann  held  at  the  public  meeting.  But 
during  these  ten  years  the  Doctor  will  not  have 
been  standing  still;  he  will  still  be  at  least  ten 
years  ahead  of  the  majority.  The  majority,  the 
mass,  the  multitude,  can  never  overtake  him;  he 

AN     KNKMV     OK    TlIK     I'K<)PI,E. 

can  never  liave  the  majority  \rit,h  liim.  As  for 
myself,  at  all  events,  I  am  conscious  of  this  in- 
cessant progression.  At  the  point  where  I  stood 
when  I  wrote  each  of  my  books,  there  now  stands 
a  fairly  compact  multitude;  but  I  myself  am 
there  no  longer;  I  am  elsewhere,  and,  I  hope, 
further  ahead."  This  is  a  fine  saying,  and  as 
just  as  it  is  fine,  with  respect  to  the  series  of 
social  plays,  down  to,  and  including,  Rnsmers- 
holm.  To  the  psychological  series,  which  begins 
with  The  Lady  from  the  Sea,  this  law  of  pro- 
gression scarcely  applies.  The  standpoint  in 
each  is  different;  but  the  movement  is  not  so 
much  one  of  intellectual  advance  as  of  deepen- 
ing spiritual  insight. 

As  Ibsen  predicted,  the  Scandinavian  theatres 
seized  with  avidity  upon  An  Enemii  of  ihe  Peo- 
ple. Between  January  and  March  1883  it  was 
produced  in  Christiania,  Bergen,  Stockholm,  and 
Copenhagen.  It  has  always  been  very  popular 
on  the  stage,  and  was  the  play  chosen  to  repre- 
sent Ibsen  in  the  series  of  festival  performances 
which  inaugurated  the  National  Theatre  at 
Christiania.  The  first  evening,  September  1, 
1899,  was  devoted  to  llolbcrg,  the  great  founder 
of  Norwegian-Danish  drama;  An  Enemy  of  the 
People  followed  on  September  2;  and  on  Sep- 
tember 3  BjiJmson  held  the  stage,  with  Sigurd 
Jorsalfar.  Oddly  enough,  Ein  Volksfeind  was 
four  years  old  before  it  found  its  way  to  the 
German  stage.  It  was  first  produced  in  Berlin, 
March  5,  1887,  and  has  since  then  been  very 
popular  throughout  (lermany.  It  has  even  been 
presented  at  the  Court  Theatres  of  Berlin  and 
Vienna — a  fact  which  seems  remarkable  when  we 


note  that  in  France  and  Spain  it  lias  been 
pressed  into  the  service  of  anarchism  as  a  revo- 
lutionary manifesto.  When  first  produced  in 
Paris  in  1895,  and  again  in  1899,  it  was  made 
the  occasion  of  anarchist  demonstrations.  It  was 
the  play  chosen  for  representation  in  Paris  on 
Ibsen's  seventieth  birthday,  March  29,  1898.  In 
England  it  was  first  produced  by  Mr.  Beerbolnn 
Tree  at  the  Haymarket  Theatre  on  the  after- 
noon of  June  14,  1893.  Mr.  Tree  has  repeated 
his  performance  of  Stockmann  a  good  many 
times  in  London,  the  provinces,  and  America. 
He  revived  the  play  at  His  Majesty's  Theatre 
in  1905.  Mr.  Louis  Calvert  played  Stockmann 
at  the  Gentleman's  Concert  Hall  in  Manchester, 
January  27,  1894.  I  can  find  no  record  of  any 
performances  of  the  play  in  America,  save  Ger- 
man performances  and  those  given  by  Mr.  Tree; 
but  it  seems  incredible  that  no  American  actor 
should  have  been  attracted  by  the  part  of  Stock- 
mann. 'Een  Vijand  des  Volks  was  produced  in 
Holland  in  1884,  before  it  had  even  been  ?een  in 
Germany  and  in  Italy.  Un  Nemico  del  Popolo 
holds  a  place  in  the  repertory  of  the  distinguished 
actor  Ermete  Novelli. 

Of  all  Ibsen's  plays.  An  Enemy  of  the  People 
is  the  least  poetical,  the  least  imaginative,  the 
one  which  makes  least  appeal  to  our  sensibilities. 
Even  in  The  League  of  Youth  there  is  a  touch 
of  poetic  fancy  in  the  character  of  Selmer;  while 
Pillars  of  Society  is  sentimentally  conceived 
throughout,  and  possesses  in  Martha  a  figure  of 
great,  though  somewhat  conventional,  pathos.  In 
this  play,  on  the  other  hand,  there  is  no  appeal 
either  to  the  imagination  or  to  the  tender  emo- 

A  N    i:  N  i;  M  \    u  1  ■    r  1 1  k    i'  v.  o  i'  i,  k . 

tions.  It  is  a  straij?htfonvard  satiric  comedy. 
(U-aliiiK  exclusively  with  the  everyday  prose  of 
life.  We  have  only  to  compare  it  with  its  im- 
mediate predecessor.  Ghosts,  and  its  immediate 
successor,  The  Wild  Duck,  to  feel  bow  absolutely 
diflFerent  is  the  imaginative  effort  involved  in  it. 
Kealising  this,  we  no  longer  wonder  that  the  poet 
should  have  thrown  it  off  in  half  the  time  he 
usually  required  to  mature  and  execute  one  of 
his  creations. 

Yet  All  Enemy  of  the  People  takes  a  high 
place  in  the  second  rank  of  the  Ibsen  works,  in 
virtue  of  its  buoyant  vitality,  its  great  technical 
excellence,  and  the  geniality  of  its  humour.  It 
seems  odd,  at  first  sight,  that  a  distinctly  polem- 
ical play,  which  took  its  rise  in  a  mood  of  exas- 
peration, should  be  perhaps  the  most  amiable  of 
all  the  poet's  productions.  But  the  reason  is 
fairly  obvious.  Ibsen's  nature  was  far  too  com- 
plex, and  far  too  specifically  dramatic,  to  per- 
mit of  his  giving  anything  like  direct  expression 
to  a  personal  mood.  The  very  fact  that  Dr. 
Stockmann  was  to  utter  much  of  his  own  indig- 
nation and  many  of  his  own  ideas  forced  him 
to  make  the  worthy  Doctor  in  temperament  and 
manner  as  unlike  himself  as  possible.  Xow  bois- 
terous geniality,  loquacity,  irrepressible  rashness 
of  utterance,  and  a  total  absence  of  self-criticism 
and  self-irony  were  the  very  contradiction  of 
the  poet's  own  characteristics — at  any  rate,  after 
he  had  entered  upon  middle  life.  He  doubtless 
looked  round  for  models  who  should  be  his  own 
antipodes  in  these  respects.  John  Paulsen,  as 
we  have  seen,  thinks   that   he  took  many  traits 


from  Jonas  Lie ;  others  say  '  that  one  of  his  chief 
models  was  an  old  friend  named  Harald  Thau- 
low,  the  father  of  the  great  painter.  Be  this  as 
it  may,  the  very  effort  to  disguise  himself  natu- 
rally led  him  to  attribute  to  his  protagonist  and 
mouthpiece  a  great  superficial  amiability.  I  am 
far  from  implying  that  Ibsen's  own  character 
was  essentially  unamiable;  it  would  ill  become 
one  whom  he  always  treated  with  the  utmost 
kindness  to  say  or  think  anything  of  the  kind. 
But  his  amiability  was  not  superficial,  effusive, 
exuberant;  it  seldom  reached  that  boiling-point 
which  we  call  geniality;  and  for  that  very  rea- 
son Thomas  Stockmann  became  the  most  genial 
of  his  characters.  He  may  be  called  Ibsen's 
Colonel  Newcome.  We  have  seen  from  the  let- 
ter to  Hegel  (p.  xi)  that  the  poet  regarded  him 
with  much  the  same  ironic  affection  which 
Thackeray  must  have  felt  for  that  other  Thomas 
who,  amid  many  differences,  had  the  same  sim- 
ple-minded, large-hearted,  child-like  nature. 

In  technical  quality.  An  Enemy  of  the  People 
is  wholly  admirable.  We  have  only  to  compare 
it  with  Pillars  of  Society,  the  last  play  in  which 
Ibsen  had  painted  a  broad  satiric  picture  of  the 
life  of  a  Norwegian  town,  to  feel  how  great  an 
advance  he  had  made  in  the  intervening  five 
years.  In  naturalness  of  exposition,  suppleness 
of  development,  and  what  may  be  called  general 
untheatricality  of  treatment  the  later  play  has 
every  possible*  advantage  over  the  earlier.  In 
one  point   only   can   it   be   said  that  Ibsen   has 

*  See  article  by  Julius  Elias  in  Die  neue  Rundschati,  De- 
cember 1906,  p.  1461. 

X  VI  A  N     K  N  K  M  V     (»  K    T  11  K     I'  Ko  1'  h  K 

allowed  a  touch  of  artificiality  to  creep  in.  In 
order  to  render  the  peripetia  of  the  third  act 
more  striking,  he  has  made  Hovstad,  Billing, 
and  Aslaksen,  in  the  earlier  scenes,  unnaturally 
inajiprchcnsive  of  the  sacrifices  implied  in  Stock- 
mann's  scheme  of  reform.  It  is  scarcely  cred- 
ible that  they  should  be  so  free  and  emphatic  in 
their  offers  of  support  to  the  Doctor's  aKitation, 
before  they  have  lAade  the  smallest  inquiry  as 
to  what  it  is  likely  to  cost  the  town.  They  think, 
it  may  be  said,  that  the  shareholders  of  the 
Baths  will  have  to  bear  the  whole  expense;  but 
surely  some  misgivings  could  not  but  cross  their 
minds  as  to  whether  the  shareholders  would  be 
prepared  to  do  so. 



The  first  mention  of  The  Wild  Duck  (as  yet  un- 
named) occurs  in  a  letter  from  Ibsen  to  George 
Brandes,  dated  Eome,  June  12,  1883,  some  six 
months  after  the  appearance  oi  An  Enemy  of 
the  People.  "  I  am  revolving  in  my  mind  just 
now,"  he  says,  "  the  plan  of  a  new  dramatic 
work  in  four  acts.  From  time  to  time  a  variety 
of  whimsies  gathers  in  one's  mind,  and  one  wants 
to  find  an  outlet  for  them.  But  as  the  play  will 
neither  deal  with  the  Supreme  Court  nor  with 
the  Absolute  Veto,  nor  even  with  the  Pure  Flag, 
it  can  hardly  count  upon  attracting  much  at- 
tention in  Norway.  Let  us  hope,  however,  that 
it  may  find  a  hearing  elsewhere."  The  allusion 
in  this  passage  is  to  the  great  constitutional 
struggle  of  1880-84,  of  which  some  account  will 
have  to  be  given  in  the  Introduction  to  Ros- 
mersholm.  The  "  Pure  Flag "  agitation  aimed 
at,  and  obtained,  the  exclusion  from  the  Nor- 
wegian flag  of  the  mark  of  union  with  Sweden, 
and  was  thus  a  preliminary  step  towards  the 
severance  of  the  two  kingdoms.    The  word  which 

*  Copyright,  1907,  by  Charles  Scribner's  Sons. 


XVIU  Tin;     \VILI)     UUCK. 

I  have  translated  "  whimsies  "  is  in  the  ori^Lual 
gahkaber,  which  might  be  literally  rendered 
"  mad  fancies  "  or  "  crazy  notions."  This  word, 
or  gnlsk-ab  in  the  singular,  was  Ibsen's  favourite 
term  for  his  conceptions  as  they  grew  up  in  his 
mind.  I  well  remember  his  saying  to  me,  while 
he  was  engaged  on  The  Lady  from  the  Sea, 
"  1  hope  to  have  some  tomfoolery  [galskab]  ready 
for  next  year."  Sometimes  he  would  vary  the 
expression  and  say  djcevelsJcah,  or  "devilry." 

Of  this  particular  "tomfoolery"  we  hear  no 
more  for  a  full  year.  Then,  at  the  end  of  June, 
1884,  he  writes  in  almost  identical  terms  to 
Brandcs  and  to  Theodor  Caspari,  announcing  its 
completion  in  the  rough.  His  letter  to  Caspari 
is  dated  Rome,  June  27.  "  All  last  winter,"  he 
says,  "  I  have  been  pondering  over  some  new 
whimsies,  and  have  wrestled  with  them  till  at 
last  they  took  dramatic  form  in  a  five-act  play 
which  I  have  just  completed.  That  is  to  say,  I 
have  completed  the  rough  draft  of  it.  Now 
comes  the  more  delicate  elaboration,  the  more 
energetic  individualisation  of  the  characters  and 
their  methods  of  expression.  In  order  to  find  the 
requisite  quiet  and  solitude  for  this  work,  I  am 
going  in  a  few  days  to  Gossensass,  in  the  Tyrol." 
This  little  glimpse  into  his  workshop  is  particu- 
larly interesting. 

From  Gossensass  he  wrote  to  Hegel  on  Sep- 
tember 2:  "Herewith  I  send  you  the  manuscript 
of  my  new  play,  The  Wild  Duck,  which  has  occu- 
pied me  daily  for  the  past  four  months,  and  from 
which  I  cannot  part  without  a  sense  of  regret. 
The  characters  in  this  play,  despite  their  many 
frailties,  have,  in  the  course  of  our  long  daily 


association,  endeared  themselves  to  me.  How- 
ever, I  hope  they  will  also  find  good  and  kind 
friends  among  the  great  reading  public,  and  not 
least  among  the  player-folk,  to  whom  they  all, 
without  exception,  offer  problems  worth  the  solv- 
ing. But  the  study  and  presentation  of  these 
personages  will  not  be  easy.  .  .  .  This  new  play 
in  some  ways  occupies  a  place  apart  among  my 
dramatic  productions;  its  method  of  develop- 
ment [literally,  of  advance]  is  in  many  respects 
divergent  from  that  of  its  predecessors.  But  for 
the  present  I  shall  say  no  more  on  this  subject. 
The  critics  will  no  doubt  discover  the  points  in 
question;  at  all  events,  they  will  find  a  good 
deal  to  wrangle  about,  a  good  deal  to  interpret. 
Moreover,  I  think  The  Wild  Duch  may  perhaps 
lure  some  of  our  younger  dramatists  into  new 
paths,  and  this  I  hold  to  be  desirable." 

The  play  was  published  on  November  11,  1884, 
and  was  acted  at  all  the  leading  theatres  of  Scan- 
dinavia in  January  or  February,  1885.  Ibsen's 
estimate  of  its  acting  value  was  fully  justified. 
It  everywhere  proved  itself  immensely  effective 
on  the  stage,  and  Hialmar,  Gina,  and  Hedvig 
have  made,  or  greatly  enhanced,  the  reputation 
of  many  an  actor  and  actress.  Hialmar  was  one 
of  the  chief  successes  of  Emil  Poulsen,  the  lead- 
ing Danish  actor  of  his  day,  who  placed  the  sec- 
ond act  of  The  Wild  Duck  in  the  programme  of 
his  farewell  performance.  It  took  more  than 
three  years  for  the  play  to  reach  the  German 
stage.  It  was  first  acted  in  Berlin  in  March 
1888;  but  thereafter  it  rapidly  spread  through- 
out Germany  and  Austria,  and  everywhere  took 
firm  hold.     It  was  on  several  occasions,  and  in 

XX  THE    WILD     DUCK, 

various  cities,  selected  for  performance  in  Ib- 
sen's presence,  as  representing  the  best  that 
the  local  theatre  could  do.  In  Paris  it  was 
produced  at  the  Theatre  Libre  in  1891,  and 
was  pronounced  by  Francisque  Sarcey  to  be 
"  obscure,  incoherent,  insupportable,"  but  never- 
theless to  leave  "  a  profound  impression."  In 
London  it  was  first  produced  by  the  Independent 
Theatre  Society  on  May  4,  1894,  Mr.  W.  L. 
Abingdon  playing  Ilialmar,  and  Miss  Winifred 
Fraser  giving  a  delightful  performance  of  Hed- 
vig.  The  late  Clement  Scott's  pronouncement  on 
it  was  that  "to  make  a  fuss  about  so  feeble  a 
production  was  to  insult  dramatic  literature  and 
to  outrage  common  sense."  It  was  repeated  at 
the  Globe  Theatre  in  May,  1897,  with  Mr.  Lau- 
rence Irving  as  Hialmar  and  Miss  Fraser  again 
as  Iledvig.  In  October  1905  it  was  revived  at 
the  Court  Theatre,  with  Mr.  Granville  Barker  as 
Hialmar  and  Miss  Dorothy  Minto  as  Hedvig. 
Of  American  performances  I  find  no  record.  It 
has  been  acted  in  Italy  and  in  Greece,  I  know 
not  with  what  success.  The  fact  that  it  has  no 
part  for  a  "  leading  lady  "  has  rendered  it  less 
of  an  international  stock-piece  than  A  DolVs 
House,  Hedda  Gahler,  or  even  Rosmersholm. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  The  Wild  Duck 
marks  a  reaction  in  the  poet's  mood,  following 
upon  the  eager  vivacity  wherewith,  in  An  Enemy 
of  the  People,  he  had  flung  his  defiance  at  the 
"  compact  Liberal  majority,"  which,  as  the  recep- 
tion of  Ghosts  had  proved,  could  not  endure  to 
be  told  the  truth.  Having  said  his  say  and  lib- 
erated his  soul,  he  now  began  to  ask  himself 
whether  human  nature  was,  after  all,  capable  of 


assimilating  the  strong'  meat  of  truth — whethei* 
illusion  might  not  be,  for  the  average  man,  the 
only  thing  that  could  make  life  livable.  It 
would  be  too  much  to  say  that  the  play  gives  a 
generally  affirmative  answer  to  this  question. 
On  the  contrary,  its  last  lines  express  pretty 
clearly  the  poet's  firm  conviction  that  if  life 
cannot  reconcile  itself  with  truth,  then  life 
may  as  welT  go  to  the  wall.  Nevertheless  his 
very  devotion  to  trutK  forces  him  to  realise  and 
admit  that  it  is  an  antitoxin  which,  rashly  in- 
jected at  wrong  times  or  in  wrong  doses,  maj^ 
produce  disastrous  results.  It  ought  not  to  be 
indiscriminately  administered  by  "  quacksal- 

Gregers  Werle  is  unquestionably  a  piece  of 
ironic  self-portraiture.  In  his  habit  of  "  pester- 
ing people,  in  their  poverty,  with  the  claim  of 
the  ideal,"  the  poet  adumbrates  his  own  conduct 
from  Brand  onwards,  but  especially  in  Ghosts 
and  An  Enemy  of  the  People.  Relling,  again, 
is  an  embodiment  of  the  mood  which  was  dom- 
inant during  the  conception  of  the  play — the 
mood  of  pitying  contempt  for  that  poor  thing 
human  nature,  as  embodied  in  Hialmar.  An  '^  ^ 
actor  who,  in  playing  the  part  of  Relling  made 
up  as  Ibsen  himself,  has  been  blamed  for  hav- 
ing committed  a  fault  not  only  of  taste,  but 
of  interpretation,  since  Gregers  (it  is  main- 
tained) is  the  true  Ibsen.  But  the  fact  is  that 
both  characters  represent  the  poet.  They  em- 
body the  struggle  in  his  mind  between  idealism 
and  cynical  despondency.  There  can  be  no  doubt, 
however,  that  in  some  measure  he  consciously 
identified  himself  with  Gregers.     In  a  letter  to 

xxii  Tin;    wu.i)    nucK, 

Mr.  Go8se,  written  in  1872,  he  had  employed  in 
his  own  person  the  very,  den  ideale  ford- 
ring — "  the  chiini  of  the  ideal  " — whieh  is  (Ireg- 
er's  watchword.  The  use  of  this  sufficiently  ob- 
vious phrase,  however,  does  not  mean  much.  Far 
stronger  evidence  of  identilication  is  afforded  by 
John  Paulsen  '  in  some  anecdotes  he  relates  of 
Ibsen's  habits  of  "  self-help  " — evidence  which 
we  may  all  the  more  safely  accept,  as  Herr  Paul- 
sen seems  to  have  been  unconscious  of  its  bear- 
ing upon  the  character  of  Gregers.  "  Ibsen,"  he 
says,  "  was  always  bent  upon  doing  things  him- 
self, so  as  not  to  give  trouble  to  servants.  His 
ideal  was  '  the  self-made  man.' '  Thus,  if  a  but- 
ton came  off  one  of  his  garments  he  would  re- 
tire to  his  own  room,  lock  the  door,  and  after 
many  comical  and  unnecessary  preliminaries  pro- 
ceed to  sew  on  the  button  himself,  with  the  same 
care  with  which  he  w-rote  the  fair  copy  of  a  new 
play.  Such  an  important  task  he  could  not  pos- 
sibly entrust  to  any  one  else,  not  even  to  his  wife. 
One  of  his  paradoxes  was  that  *  a  woman  never 
knew  how  to  sew  on  a  button  so  that  it  would 
hold.'  But  if  he  himself  sewed  it  on,  it  held  to 
all  eternity.  Fru  Ibsen  smiled  roguishly  and 
subtly  when  the  creator  of  Nora  came  out  with 
such  anti-feminist  sentiments.  Afterwards  she 
told  me  in  confidence,  '  It  is  true  that  Ibsen  him- 
self sews  on  his  vagrant  buttons;  but  the  fact 
that  they  hold  so  well  is  my  doing,  for,  without 
his  knowledge,  I  always  "  finish  them  off,"  which 

'  Samliv  nied  Ibsen,  p.  33. 

'  Herr  Paulsen  uses  the  Enjjlish  words ;  but  it  will  appear 
from  the  sequel  that  Ibsen's  ideal  was  not  so  much  the  self- 
made  as  the  self-mended  man. 


he  forgets  to  do.     But  don't  disturb  his  convic- 
tion :  it  makes  him  so  happy.'  " 

"  One  winter  day  in  Munich,"  Herr  Paulsen 
continues,  "  Ibsen  asked  me  with  a  serious  and 
even  anxious  countenance,  '  Tell  me  one  thing, 
Paulsen — do  you  black  your  own  boots  every 
morning  ? '  I  was  taken  aback,  and  doubtless 
looked  quite  guilty  as  I  answered,  *  No.'  I  had 
a  vaguely  uncomfortable  sense  that  I  had  failed 
in  a  duty  to  myself  and  to  society.  '  But  you 
really  ought  to  do  so.  It  will  make  you  feel 
a  different  man.  One  should  never  let  others  do 
what  one  can  do  oneself.  If  you  begin  with 
blacking  your  boots,  you  will  get  on  to  putting 
your  room  in  order,  laying  the  fire,  etc.  In  this 
way  you  will  at  last  find  yourself  an  emancipated 
man,  independent  of  Tom,  Dick,  or  Harry.'  I 
promised  to  follow  his  advice,  but  have  unfortu- 
nately not  kept  my  word."  It  is  evident  that 
Ibsen  purposely  transferred  to  Gregers  this  char- 
acteristic of  his  own;  and  the  sentiments  with 
which  Gina  regards  it  are  probably  not  unlike 
those  which  Fru  Ibsen  may  from  time  to  time 
have  manifested.  We  could  scarcely  demand 
clearer  proof  that  in  Gregers  the  poet  was  laugh- 
ing at  himself. 

To  Hedvig,  Ibsen  gave  the  name  of  his  only 
sister,  and  in  many  respects  she  seems  to  have 
served  as  a  model  for  the  character.  She  was  the 
poet's  favourite  among  all  his  relatives.  "  You 
are  certainly  the  best  of  us,"  he  wrote  to  her  in 
1869.  Bjornstjeme  Bjomson  said,  after  making 
her  acquaintance,  that  he  now  understood  what 
a  large  element  of  heredity  there  was  in  Ibsen's 
bent  towards  mysticism.     We  may  be  sure  that 

xxiv  Tin;   \vii.i>    nrcK, 

llfelvig's  researches  among  the  books  left  by  the 
old  sea-captain,  and  her  dislike  for  the  frontis- 
piece of  Harrison's  History  of  London,  are  re- 
membered traits  from  the  home-life  of  the  poet's 
childhood.  It  does  not  seem  to  be  known  who 
had  the  honour  of  "  sitting  for"  the  character  of 
lliahiiar.  Probably  he  is  a  composite  of  many 
originals.  Moreover,  he  is  obviously  a  younger 
brother  of  Peer  Gynt.  Deprive  Peer  Gynt  of  his 
sense  of  humour,  and  clip  the  wings  of  his  imagi- 
nation, and  you  have  Ilialmar  Ekdal. 

I  confess  I  do  not  know  quite  definitely  what 
Ibsen  had  in  mind  when  he  spoke  of  The  Wild 
Duck  holding  "a  place  apart,"  among  his  pro- 
ductions and  exemplifying  a  technique  (for  he  is 
evidently  thinking  of  its  technical  development) 
"  divergent "  from  that  of  its  predecessors.  I 
should  rather  say  that  it  marked  the  continua- 
tion and  consummation  of  the  technical  method 
which  he  had  been  elaborating  from  Pillars  of 
Society  onward.  It  is  the  first  example  of  what 
we  may  term  his  retrospective  method,  in  its. full 
comi)lexity.  Pillars  of  Society  and  A  Doll's 
House  may  be  called  semi-retrospective;  some- 
thing like  half  of  the  essential  action  takes  place 
before  the  eyes  of  the  audience.  Ghosts  is  al- 
most wholly  retrospective;  as  soon  as  the  past  has 
been  fully  unravelled  the  action  is  over,  and  only 
the  catastrophe  remains;  but  in  this  case  the 
past  to  be  unravelled  is  comparatively  simple  and 
easy  of  disentanglement.  An  Enemy  of  the  Peo- 
ple is  scarcely  retrospective  at  all;  almost  the 
whole  of  its  action  falls  within  the  frame  of  the 
picture.  In  The  Wild  Duck,  on  the  other  hand, 
the  unravelling  of  the  past  is  a  task  of  infinite 


subtlety  and  elaborate  art.  The  execution  of 
this  task  shows  a  marvellous  and  hitherto  unex- 
ampled grasp  of  mind.  Never  before,  certainly, 
had  the  poet  displayed  such  an  amazing  power 
of  fascinating  and  absorbing  us  by  the  gradual 
withdrawal  of  veil  after  veil  from  the  past;  and 
as  every  event  was  also  a  trait  of  character,  it 
followed  that  never  before  had  his  dialogue  been 
so  saturated,  as  it  were,  with  character-revela- 
tion. The  development  of  the  drama  reminds 
one  of  the  practice  (in  itself  a  very  bad  prac- 
tice) of  certain  modern  stage-managers,  who  are 
fond  of  raising  their  curtain  on  a  dark  scene, 
and  then  gradually  lighting  it  up  by  a  series  of 
touches  on  the  electric  switchboard.  First  there 
comes  a  glimmer  from  the  right,  then  a  flash 
from  the  left;  then  the  background  is  suifused 
with  light,  so  that  we  see  objects  standing  out 
against  it  in  profile,  but  cannot  as  yet  discern 
their  details.  Then  comes  a  ray  from  this  batten, 
a  gleam  from  that ;  here  a  penetrating  shaft  of 
light,  there  a  lambent  glow ;  until  at  last  the 
footlights  are  turned  on  at  full,  and  every  nook 
and  cranny  of  the  scene  stands  revealed  in  a 
blaze  of  luminosity.  But  Ibsen's  switchboard  is 
far  more  subtly  subdivided  than  that  of  even 
the  most  modern  theatre.  At  eveiy  touch  upon 
it  some  single,  cunningly-placed,  ingeniously- 
dissembled  burner  kindles,  almost  unnoticed  save 
by  the  most  watchful  eye;  so  that  the  full  light 
spreads  over  the  scene  as  imperceptibly  as  dawn 
grows  into  day. 

It  seems  to  me,  then,  that  The  Wild  Duck  is  a 
consummation  rather  than  a  new  departure. 
Assuredly   it  marks    the   summit   of  the   poet's 

XXvi  Till-:     DfC-K. 

achicvoincnt  (in  modern  prose)  u|)  to  that  <late. 
Its  only  possible  rival  is  Ghosts;  and  who  does 
not  feel  the  greater  richness,  depth,  suppleness, 
and  variety  of  the  later  play?  It  gives  us,  in  a 
word,  a  larger  segment  of  life. 




Doctor  Thomas  Stockmann,  medical  officer  of  the 

Mrs.  Stockmann,  his  wife. 

Petra,  their  daug/Ucr,  a  teacher. 

ElLiF        \  their  sons,  thirteen  and  ten  years  old  rcspec- 

Morten  J         tivcly. 

Peter  Stockmann,  the  doctor's  elder  brother.  Burgo- 
master ^  and  chief  of  police,  chairman  of  the  Baths 
Committee,  etc. 

Morten  Kiil,'^  master  ttmner,  Mrs.  Stockmann's  adop- 

HovSTAD,  editor  of  the  "  People's  Messenger.'" 

BiLLiNO,  on  the  staff  of  the  paper. 

Horster,  a  ship's  captain. 

ASLAKSEN,  a  printer. 

Participants  in  a  meeting  of  citizens  :  all  sortis  and  con- 
ditions of  men,  some  women,  and  a  band  of  schoolboys. 

The  action  passes  in  a  town  on  the  South  Coast  of  Norway, 

1  "  Burgomaster"  is  the  most  convenient  substitute  for 
"  Byfogd,"  but  "  Town  Clerk  "  would  perhaps  be  more  nearly 
equivalent.  It  is  impossible  to  find  e.\act  counterparts  in 
English  for  the  different  grades  of  the  Norwegian  bureaucracy. 

2  Pronounce:  A'eeL 




Evening.  Dr.  Stockmann's  sitting-room  ;  simply  hut 
neatly  decorated  and  furnished.  In  the  wall  to  the 
right  are  two  doors,  the  further  one  leading  to  the 
hall,  the  nearer  one  to  the  Doctor  s  study,  hi  the 
opposite  wall,  facing  the  hall  door,  a  door  leading 
to  the  other  rooms  of  the  house.  Against  the 
middle  of  this  wall  stands  the  stove  ;  further  for- 
ward a  sofa  rvith  a  mirror  above  it,  and  in  front 
of  it  an  oval  table  with  a  cover.  On  the  table  a 
lighted  lamp,  with  a  shade.  In  the  back  wall  an 
open  door  leading  to  the  dining-room,  in  which  is 
seen  a  supper-table,  with  a  lamp  on  it. 

Billing  is  seated  at  the  supper-table,  with  a  napkin 
imder  his  chin.  Mrs.  Stockmann  is  standing  by 
the  table  and  placing  before  him  a  dish  with  a 
large  joint  of  roast  beef.  The  other  seats  round 
the  table  are  empty  ;  the  table  is  in  disorder,  as 
after  a  meal. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
If  you  come  an  hour  latCj  Mr.  Billing,  you  must 
put  up  with  a  cold  supper. 

4  AN     KNENM     <)K    THK    I'KOl'LE.  [acT    I. 

[Eating.]     It  is  excellent  —  really-first  rate. 

Mus.  Stockmann. 
Yoti  know   how  Stockniunn   insists  on  regular 

meal  hours 

Oh,  I  don't  mind  at  all.     I  almost  think  I  enjoy 
my  supper  more  when  I  can  sit  down  to  it  like  this, 
alone  and  uiulisturbed. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

Oh,  well,  if  you  enjoy  it [Listening  in  the 

(linrlion  of  the  ha//.]     I  believe  this  is  Mr.  Hovstad 
coming  too. 

Very  likely. 

Burgomaster  Stockmann  enters,  wearing  an  over- 
coat and  an  official  gold-laced  cap,  and  carrying 
a  stick. 

Good  evening,  sister-in-law. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Coming  forward  i?ito  the  sitting-7'oom.]    Oh,  good 
evening  ;  is  it  you  ?     It  is  good  of  you  to  look  in. 


I  was  just  passing,  and  so [Looks  towards  the 

dratving-room.]     Ah,  I  see  you  have  company. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Rather  em/)arrassed.]     Oh  no,  not  at  all  ;  it's  the 
merest  chance.     [Ilurricd/i/.]     \V(in't  you  sit  down 
and  have  a  little  supper.'' 

act  i.]      an   enemy   of   the   people.  5 

I .''     No,  thank  you.     Good  gracious  !  hot  meat 
m  the  evening  I    That  wouldn't  suit  my  digestion. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  for  once  in  a  way 

No,  no, — much  obliged  to  you.     I  stick  to  tea 
and  bread  and  butter.    It's  more  wholesome  in  the 
long  run — and  rather  more  economical,  too. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[S7mling.]    You  mustn't  think  Thomas  and  I  are 
mere  spendthrifts,  either. 

You  are  not,  sister- in-law ;  far  be  it  from  me  to 
say  that.     [^Pointing  to  the  Doctor  s  studij .^     Is  he  not 
at  home .'' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

No,  he  has  gone  for  a  little  turn  after  supper — 
with  the  boys. 


I  wonder  if  that  is  a  good  thing  to  do  }     \Lis- 
tening.'\     There  he  is,  no  doubt. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
No,  that  is  not  he.     [A  knockJ^     Come  in  \ 

HovsTAD  enters  from  the  hall. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Ah,  it's  Mr.  Hovstad 

AN     ENEMY    OK    THE    I'EOI'UE.         [.\tT    1. 


You   must   excuse   me ;   I  was  detained  at  the 
printer's.     Good  evening,  Burgomaster. 


[Bom/ig  rather  uliffly.]    Mr.  Hovstad  ?    You  come 
on  business,  I  presume  .'' 

Partly.     About  an  article  for  the  paper. 


So  I  supposed.  I  hear  my  brother  is  an  extremely 
prolific  contributor  to  the  People's  Messenger. 

Yes,  when  he  wants  to  unburden  his  mind  on 
one  thing  or  another^  he  gives  the  Messenger  the 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

[To  Hovstad.]    But  will  you  not ?     [Points 

to  the  dinhig-roomi] 

Well,  well,  I  am  far  from  blaming  him  for  writing 
for  the  class  of  readers  he  finds  most  in  sympathy 
with  him.     And,  personally,  I  have  no  reason  to 
bear  your  paper  any  ill-will,  Mr.  Hovstad. 

No,  I  should  think  not. 

One  may  say,  on  the  whole,  that  a  fine  spirit  of 
mutual  tolerance  prevails  in  our  town — an  excellent 

ACT    I.]  AN     ENEMY     OF    THE    PEOPLE. 

public  spirit.  And  that  is  because  we  have  a  great 
common  interest  to  hold  us  together — an  interest 
in  which  all  right-minded  citizens  are  equally  con- 


Yes — the  Baths. 

Just  so.     We  have  our  magnificent  new  Baths. 
Mark  my  words  !    The  whole  life  of  the  town  will 
centre  around  the  Baths,  Mr.  Hovstad.  There  can 
be  no  doubt  of  it ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
That  is  just  what  Thomas  says. 

How  marvellously  the  place  has  developed,  even 
in  this  couple  of  years  !    Money  has  come  into  cir- 
culation, and  brought  life  and  movement  with  it. 
Houses  and  ground-rents  rise  in  value  every  day. 

And  there  are  fewer  people  out  of  work. 

That  is  true.  There  is  a  gratifying  diminution 
in  the  burden  imposed  on  the  well-to-do  classes  by 
the  poor-rates;  and  they  will  be  still  further 
lightened  if  only  we  have  a  really  good  summer 
this  year — a  rush  of  visitoi-s — plenty  of  invalids,  to 
give  the  Baths  a  reputation. 

I  hear  there  is  every  prospect  of  that. 

8  AN     KNKMN      <)K    TIIK     I'F:<)I'I.K.  [aCT    1. 


Tilings  look  most  promising.  Inquiries  about 
apartments  and  so  forth  keep  on  pouring  in. 

Ho  VST  AD. 

Then  the  Doctor's  paper  will  come  in  very 

Has  he  been  writing  again  } 


This  is  a  thing  he  wrote  in  the  winter  ;  enlarging 
on  the  virtues  of  the  Baths,  and  on  the  excellent 
Kanitary  conditions  of  the  town.  But  at  that  time 
1  held  it  over. 


Ah — I  suppose  there  was  something  not  quite 
judicious  about  it  ? 


Not  at  all.  But  I  thought  it  better  to  keep 
it  till  the  sjiring,  when  people  are  beginning  to 
look    about  them,    and    think    of    their  summer 



You  were  right,  quite  right,  Mr.  Hovstad. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
\'es,  Thomas  is  really  indefatigable  where  the 
Baths  are  concerned. 

It  is  his  duty  as  one  of  the  staff. 

And  of  course  he  was  really  their  creator. 

act  i.]   an  enemy  ok  the  people.      9 

Was  he  ?    Indeed  !    I  gather  that  certain  persons 
are  of  that  opinion.     But  I  should  have  thought 
that  I,  too,  had  a  modest  share  in  that  undertaking. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  that  it  what  Thomas  is  always  saying. 

No  one  dreams  of  denying  it,  Burgomaster.  You 
set  the  thing  going,  and  put  it  on  a  practical  basis  ; 
everybody  knows    that.     I  only  meant   that  the 
original  idea  was  the  doctor's. 

Yes,  my  brother  has  certainly  had  ideas  enough 
in  his  time — worse  luck !  But  when  it  comes  to 
realising  them,  Mr.  Hovstad,  we  want  men  of 
another  stamp.  I  should  have  thought  that  in 
this  house  at  any  rate 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Why,  my  dear  brother-in-law 

Burgomaster,  how  can  you ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Do  go  in  and  have  some  supper,  Mr.  Hovstad ; 
my  husband  is  sure  to  be  home  directly. 

Thanks  ;  just  a  mouthful,  perhaps. 

[jHe  goes  into  the  dining-room. 

[Speaking  in  a  low  voice.^     It  is  extraordinary  how 

10  AN     KNK.MV     0|-     TlIK     I'KOIM.K.  [\(T    I. 

people  who  spring  direct  from  the  peasant  class 
never  can  get  over  their  want  of  tact. 

Mrs.   Stock  MANN. 
But  why  should  you    care  ?     Surely   you    and 
Thou)as  can  share  the  honour,  like  brothers. 

Yes,  one  would  suppose  so  ;  but  it  seems  a  share 
of  the  honour  is  not  enough  for  some  persons. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
What  nonsense  !     You  and  Thomas  always  get 
on  so  well  together.     [Listening.^     There,  I   think 
I  hear  him.  [Goes  and  opens  (he  door  to  the  hall. 

Dr  Stockmann. 
[Laughing  and  talLing  loiidli/,  ivUhoid.^  Here's 
another  visitor  for  you,  Katrina.  Isn't  it  capital, 
eh  .^  Come  in.  Captain  Horster.  Hang  your  coat 
on  that  peg.  What  I  you  don't  wear  an  overcoat  ? 
Fancy,  Katrina,  1  caught  him  in  the  street,  and  I 
could  hardly  get  him  to  come  in. 

Captain  Horster. 
Enters  and  bows  to  Mrs.  Stockmann. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[In  the  doonvay.^     In  with  you,  boys.     They're 
famishiiig  again  !      Come  along.  Captain  Horster; 

you  must  try  our  roast  beef 

[lie  forces   Horster  itUo  the  dining-room. 
EiLiF  and  Morten  /w//o/i'  theyn. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
But,  Thomas,  don't  you  see 

act  1.]       an   enemy  of  the  i'eol'ue.  11 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[^Ttirning  round  in  the  doorway. '\     Oh,  is  that  you, 
Peter!     [Goes  vp  to  him  and  holds  out  his  hand.] 
Nqw  this  is  really  capital. 

Unfortunately,    I    have    only    a    moment    to 


Dr.  Stockmann. 

Nonsense !      We   shall  have   some  toddy  in  a 
minute.  You're  not  forgetting  the  toddy,  Katrina.^ 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

Of  coui'se  not ;  the  water's  boiling. 

[She  goes  itdo  the  dining-room. 

Toddy  too ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes  ;  sit  down,  and  let's  make  ourselves  com- 


Thanks  ;  I  never  join  in  drinking  parties. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But  this  isn't  a  party. 


I  don't  know  what  else [Looks  towards  the 

dining-room.\      It's    extraordinary    how    they  can 
get  through  all  that  food. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Rubbing  his  hands.^     Yes,  doesn't  it  do  one  good 
to  see  young  people  eat .''  Always  hungry  !    That's 

AN     KNKMN      oK     TIIK     I'KOIM-K.  [.' 

as  it  should  be.  They  need  good,  solid  meat  to 
put  stamina  into  them  !  It  is  they  that  have  got 
to  whip  up  the  ferment  of  the  future,  Peter. 

13  L'UCiOM  ASTER. 

May  I  ask  what  there  is  to  be  "  whipped  up,"  as 
you  call  it .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

You'll  have  to  ask  the  young  people  that — when 
the  time  comes.  We  shan't  see  it,  of  course.  Two 
old  fogies  like  you  and  me 

Come,  come  !      Surely   that  is  a  very  extraor- 
dinary ex{)ression  to  use 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  you  mustn't  mind  my  nonsense,  Peter.  I'm 
in  such  glorious  spirits,  you  see.  I  feel  so  unsjieak- 
ably  hapi)y  in  the  midst  of  all  this  growing,  ger- 
minating life.  Isn't  it  a  marvellous  time  we  live 
in  !  It  seems  as  though  a  whole  new  world  were 
springing  up  around  us. 

Do  you  really  think  so  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Of  course,  you  can't  see  it  as  clearly  as  I  do. 
You  have  passed  your  life  in  the  midst  of  it  all  ; 
and  that  deadens  the  impression.  But  I  who  had 
to  vegetate  all  those  years  in  that  little  hole  in 
the  north,  hardly  ever  seeing  a  soul  that  could 
speak  a  stimulating  word  to  me — all  this  affects  me 
as  if  I  had  suddenly  dropped  into  the  heart  of 
some  teeming  metropolis. 

act  i.]       an  enemy   of   the   people.  13 

Well,  metropolis 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  I  know  well  enough  that  things  are  on  a 
small  scale  here,  compared  with  many  other  places. 
But  there's  life  here — there's  promise — there's  an 
infinity  of  things  to  work  and  strive  for  ;  and  that 
is  the  main  point.  [Calling.]  Katrina,  haven't 
there  been  any  letters  .'' 

Mrs.   Stockmann. 
[In  the  dining-room.]     No,  none  at  all. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And   then    a   good   income,    Peter  !     That's    a 
thing  one  learns  to  appreciate  when  one  has  lived 
on  starvation  wages — 

Good  heavens ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh  yes,  I  can  tell  you  we  often  had  hard  times 
of  it  up  there.  And  now  we  can  live  like  princes  ! 
To-day,  for  example,  we  had  roast  beef  for  dinner  ; 
and  we've  had  some  of  it  for  supper  too.  Won't 
you  have  some  .''     Come  along — just  look  at  it,  at 

any  rate 

No,  no ;  certainly  not 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well  then,  look  here — do  you  see  we've  bought 
a  table-cover  ? 

Yes,  so  I  observed. 

14  AN     ENKMV     OK    THK     I'EOIM.K.  [aCT    }. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Ami  a  lamp-shade,  too.  Do  you  see  f  Kalrina 
has  been  savinj;  up  for  them.  They  make  the 
room  look  comfortable,  don't  they  }  Come  over 
here.     No,   no,  no,   not  there.      So — yes !     Now 

you   see  how  it   concentrates   the    light .       I 

really  think  it  ha«  quite  an  artistic  effect.     Eh  ? 


Yes,  when  one  can  afford  such  luxuries 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh.  I  can  afford  it  now.      Katrina  says  I  make 
almost  as  much  as  we  spend. 

Ah — almost ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Besides,  a  man  of  science  must  live  in  some  style. 
Wh}',  I  believe  a  mere  sheriff'  spends  much  more 
a  year  than  I  do. 

Yes,  I   should  think  so  I      A  member   of   the 
superior  magistracy 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well    then,    even    a    common    shipowner  !     A 
man  of  that  sort  will  get  through  many  times  as 


That  is  natural,  in  your  relative  positions. 

Amtmand,   the   chief  magistrate   o,"  an   Ami  or   county ; 
consequently  a  high  dignitary  in  the  official  hierarchy 

act  i.]       an  enemy   of  the   people.  15 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  after  all,  Peter,  I  really  don't  squander  any 
money.  But  I  can't  deny  myself  the  delight  of 
having  people  about  me.  I  must  have  them. 
After  living  so  long  out  of  the  world,  I  find  it  a 
necessity  of  life  to  have  bright,  cheerful,  freedom- 
loving,  hard-working  young  fellows  around  me — 
and  that's  what  they  are,  all  of  them,  that  are 
sitting  there  eating  so  heartily.  I  wish  you  knew 
more  of  Hovstad 

Ah,  that  reminds  me — Hovstad  was  telling  me 
that   he  is   going   to  publish    another    article  of 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
An  article  of  mine  ? 

Yes,  about  the  Baths.     An  article  you  wrote  last 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  that  one  !     But  I  don't  want  that  to  appear 
for  the  present. 

Why  not  ?     It  seems  to  me  this  is  the  very 
time  for  it. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Very  likely — under  ordinary  circumstances 

[C}-osses  the  room. 

[Follonmig  him  with  his  et/es.]     And  what  is  un- 
usual in  the  circumstances  now  ? 

l6  AN     ENKMV     OK    THE     PEOPLE,  [aCT    1. 

I)u.  Stock  MANN. 
[Sfanding  still.]  The  fact  is,  Peter,  I  really  can- 
not tell  you  just  now  ;  not  this  evening;,  at  all 
events.  'I'hcrc-  may  prove  to  be  a  great  deal  that 
is  unusual  in  the  circumstances.  On  the  other 
hand,  there  may  be  nothing  at  all.  V^ery  likely 
it's  only  my  fancy. 

Upon   my  word,  you  are  very  enigmatical.     Is 
there  anything  in  the  wind  ?     Anything  I  am   to 
be   kept   in   the  dark  about .-"     I  should  think,  as 
Chairman  of  the  Bath  Committee 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

And  I  should  think  that  I Well,  well,  don't 

let  us  get  our  backs  up,  Peter. 


God  forbid  !  I  am  not  in  the  habit  of  "  getting 
my  back  u]),"  as  you  express  it.  But  I  must 
absolutely  insist  that  all  arrangements  shall  be 
made  and  carried  out  in  a  businesslike  manner, 
and  through  the  properly  constituted  authorities. 
I  cannot  be  a  party  to  crooked  or  underhand 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Have  /  ever  been  given  to  crooked  or  under- 
hand courses  ? 

Burgomaster.  ^^ . 

At  any  rate  you  have  an  ingrained   propensity\ 

to  taking  your  own  course.      And   that,   in  a  well-  '5 

f)rdfr(tl  conmuiniU',  is  almost  as  iii.Miiiiissii)le.    The  ' 

\      individual  must  subordinate  himself  to  society,  or,  .' 

:T    I.]  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  17 

more  precisely,  to  the  aiuhorities  whose  business 
it  is  to  watch  over  the  welfare  of  society. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Maybe.     But  what  the   devil    has   that   to  do 
with  me  ? 


Why  this  is  the  very  thing,  my  dear  Thomas, 
that  it  seems  you  will  never  learn.  But  take 
care  ;  you  will  have  to  pay  for  it — sooner  or  later 
Now  I  have  warned  yoli.     Good-bye. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Are  you  stark  mad  .''     You're  on  a  totally  wrong 


I  am  not  often  on  the  wrong  track.     Moreovet, 
I  must  protest  against— —    [Bomi/g  towards  dining- 
room.^     Good-bye,  sister-in-law  ;  good-dayto  you, 
gentlemen.  [He  goes. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
^Entering  the  sitting-room.^     Has  he  gone.'' 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
Yes,  and  in  a  fine  temper,  too. 

Mrs.   Stockmann. 
Why,  my   dear  Thomas,  what   have  you   been 
doing  to  him  now  } 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Nothing  at  all.      He  can't  possibly  expect  me  to 
account  to  him  for  everything — before  the  time 

18  AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     PEOPLE.  [aCT    I. 

Mrs.  Stock  MANN. 
What  have  you  to  account  to  him  for? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
H'm  ; — never  minda  bout  that,  Katrina. — It's 
very  odd  the  i)ostman  doesn't  come. 

[HovsTAO, Billing  and  Horster  have  risen 
from  tahle  and  come  fonrard  into  the 
silling-room.  Eilif  and  Morten  pre- 
sently follow. 


[Stretching  himself]       Ah  I     Strike  me  dead  if 
one  doesn't  feel  a  new  man  after  such  a  m^al. 

The  Burgomaster  didn't  seem  in  the  best  of 
tempers  this  evening. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
That's  his  stomach.     He  has  a  very  poor  diges- 

I  fancy  it's  the  staff  of  the  Messenger  he  finds 
it  hardest  to  stomach. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
I  thought  you  got  on  well  enough  with  him, 

Oh,   yes ;    but    it's   only  a   sort  of    armistice 
between  us. 

That's  it       That  word  sums  up  the  situation 


act  i.]       an    enemy   of  the   people.  19 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
We  must  remember  that  Peter  is  a  lonely 
bachelor^  poor  devil  !  He  has  no  home  to  be 
happy  in  ;  only  business,  business.  And  then  all 
that  cursed  weak  tea  he  goes  and  pours  down  his 
throat  !  Now  then,  chairs  round  the  table,  boys  ! 
Katrina,  shan't  we  have  the  toddy  now  ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Going    towards  the    dining-room.^      I    am   just 
getting  it. 

Dr  Stockmann. 
And  you.  Captain  Horster,  sit  beside  me  on  the 

sofa.     So    rare   a  guest   as    you .     Sit  down, 

gentlemen,  sit  down. 

'^Tke  men  sit  round  the  table  ;  Mrs.  Stock- 
mann brings  in  a  tray  with  kettle,  glasses, 
decanters,  etc. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Here  you  have  it :  here's  arrak,  and  this  is  rum, 
and  this  cognac.     Now,  help  yourselves. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Taking  a  glass.'\  So  we  will.  [While  the  toddy 
is  being  mijced  ]  And  now  out  with  the  cigars. 
Eilif,  I  think  you  know  where  the  box  is.  And 
Morten,  you  may  fetch  my  pipe.  [The  boys  go  into 
(he  room  on  the  I'ight.^  I  have  a  suspicion  that 
Eilif  sneaks  a  cigar  now  and  then,  but  I  pretend 
not  to  notice.  [Calls.]  And  my  smoking-cap, 
Morten  I  Katrina,  can't  you  tell  him  where  I  left 
it.  Ah,  he's  got  it.  [The  hoys  bring  in  the  thifigs.] 
Now,  friends,  help  yourselves.  I  stick  to  my  pipe, 
you  know ; — this  one  has  been  on  many  a  stormy 

20  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    I'EOl'LE.  [aCT    I. 

journey  with  me,  up  there  in  the  north.  [Theij 
clink  glaxse,s.'\  Your  health  !  Ah,  I  can  tell  you 
it's  better  fun  to  sit  cosily  here,  safe  from  wind 
and  weather. 

Mns.  Stock  MANN. 

\^lVho  sils  knitting.]     Do  you  sail   soon,  Captain 
Horster  ? 


I  hope  to  be  ready  for  a  start  by  next  week. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
And  you're  going  to  America  .'' 

Yes,  that's  the  intention. 

But  then  you'll  miss  the  election  of  the  new 
Town  Council. 


Is  there  to  be  an  election  again  } 

Didn't  you  know  ? 

No,  I  don't  trouble  myself  about  those  things. 

But  I  suppose  you  take  an   interest  in  public 
affairs  ? 

No,  I  don't  understand  anything  about  them. 


Ail  the  same,  one  ought  at  least  to  vote 

ACT    1.]  AN     ENEMY    Ol"    THE    I'EOPLE.  21 


Even  those  who  don't  understand  anything 
about  it  ? 


Understand?  Why,  what  do  you  mean  by  that  ? 
Society  is  like  a  ship :  every  man  must  put  his 
hand  to  the  helm. 


That  may  be  all  right  on  shore ;  but  at  sea  it 
wouldn't  do  at  all. 


It's  remarkable  how  little  sailors  care  about 
public  affairs  as  a  rule. 

Most  extraordinary. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Sailors  are  like  birds  of  passage ;  they  are  at 
home  both  in  the  south  and  in  the  north.  So  it 
behoves  the  rest  of  us  to  be  all  the  more 
energetic,  Mr.  Hovstad.  Will  there  be  anything 
of  public  interest  in  the  Peoples  Messenger 
to-morrow  } 


Nothing  of  local  interest.  But  the  day  after 
to-morrow  I  think  of  printing  your  article 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Oh  confound  it,  that  article !  No,  you'll  have 
to  hold  it  over. 


Really  }  We  happen  to  have  plenty  of 
space,  and  I  should  say  this  was  the  very  time 
for  it 

2!2  AN     ENKMV     Of    THE     PEOPLE.  [acT    I. 

Dh.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  yes,  you  may  be  right ;   but  you  must  hold 
it  over  all   the  same.     I  shall   explain  to  you  by- 
and  by. 

Petra,  wearing  a  hat  and  cloak,  and  with  a  number  of 
exercise-books  under  her  arm,  enters  from  the  hall. 

Good  evening. 

Dr.  SrocKMANN. 
Good  evening,  Petra.     Is  that  you  } 

[^General  greetings.      Petra  puts  her  clonk, 
hat,  and  books  on  a  chair  bij  the  door. 

Here  you  all  are,  enjoying  yourselves,  while  I've 
been  out  slaving. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well  then,  you  come  and  enjoy  yourself  too. 

May  I  mix  you  a  little .'* 

[Coming  towards   the    fable.]      Thank    you,    I'd 
rather  help  myself — you  always  make  it  too  strong. 
By  the  way,  father,  I  have  a  letter  for  you. 

[Goes  to  the  chair  where  her  things  are  lying. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
A  letter  !     From  whom  .'' 

[Searching  in  the  pocket  of  her  cloak.]     I  got  it 
from  the  postman  just  as  I  was  going  out 


act  i.]       an    enemy   of   the   people.  23 

Dr.  Stockmann 
\ Rising  and  going  totvards  her.]     And  you  only 
bring  it  me  now  ? 


I  really  hadn't  time  to  run  up  again.  Here  it 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[Seizing  the  letter.]  Let  me  see,  let  me  see,  child. 
[Reads  the  address.]     Yes  ;  this  is  it ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Is  it  the  one  you  have  been  so  anxious  about, 
Thomas  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Yes  it  is.  I  must  go  at  once.  Where  shall  I 
rind  a  light,  Katrina  ?  Is  there  no  lamp  in  my 
study  again ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

Yes — the  lamp  is  lighted.  It's  on  the  writing- 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Good,  good.     Excuse  me  one  moment 

[He  goes  into  the  room  on  the  right. 

What  can  it  be,  mother  ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
I  don't  know.      For  the  last  few  days  he  has 
been  continually  on  the  look-out  for  the  postman. 

Probably  a  country  patient 

Poor  father  !      He'll  soon  have  far  too  much 

iit  .AN     BNBMV     OK     IIIK     I'KoPI.K.  \ \rr    I. 

to    do,     [Mixes    her  loddi/.]      Ah,  this  will  taste 
good  ! 

Have  you  been  teaching  in  the  night  school  as 
well  to-day  ? 

[Sipping  from  her  glass.]     Two  hours. 

And    four    hours    in    the    morning  at  the  in- 


[Sitting  down  by  the  table.]     Five  hours. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
And  I  see  you  have  exercises  to  correct  this 

Yes,  a  heap  of  them. 


It  seems  to  me  you  have  plenty  to  do,  too. 

Yes ;  but  I  like  it.     You  feel  so  delightfully 
tired  after  it. 

Do  you  like  that } 

Yes,  for  then  you  sleep  so  well, 

I  say,  Petra,  you  must  be  a  great  sinner. 

ACT    I.]  AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  25 

A  sinner  ? 

Yes,  if  you  work  so  hard.     Mr.  Rorlund  i  says 
work  is  a  punishment  for  our  sins. 


[Contemptuously.']      Bosh !      What    a    silly    you 
ai*e,  to  believe  such  stuff  as  that. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Come  come,  Eilif. 

[Laughing.]     Capital,  capital ! 


Should  you  not  like  to  work  so  hard,  Morten  ? 

No,  I  shouldn't. 


Then  what  will  you  do  with  yourself   in  the 
world  } 

I  should  like  to  be  a  Viking. 

But  then  you'd  have  to  be  a  heathen. 

Well,  SO  I  would. 

There  I  agree  with  you,  Morten !     I  say  just 
the  same  thing. 

See  Pillars  of  Society. 

26"  AN     KNKM\      Ol       TIIK    I'KOl'LK.  [a  (  T    1. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Making  a  sign  to  him  ]      No,  no,   Mr.    Hilling, 
I'm  sure  you  don't. 


Strike  me  dead  but  I  do,  though  I  am  a 
heathen,  and  I'm  proud  of  it.  "You'll  see  we  shall 
all  be  heathens  soon. 

And  shall  we  be  able  to  do  anything  we  like 
then  } 

Well,  you  see,  Morten 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Now  run  away,  boys  ;  I'm  sure  you  have  lessons 
to  prepare  for  to-morrow. 


You  might  let  me  stay  just  a  little  longer 

Mrs.   Stockmann. 
No,  you  must  go  too.     Be  off,  both  of  you. 

[7'/te  boys  say  good-night  and  go  into  the 
room  on  the  left. 


Do  you  really  think  it  can  hurt  the  boys  to 
hear  these  things  } 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Well,  I  don't  know  ;  I  don't  like  it. 

Really,  mother,   I   think  you  are  quite  wrong 

act  i.]       an   enemy  of  the   i'eol'le.  27 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Perhaps.     But    I    don't  like    it — not  here,  at 


There's  no  end  of  hypocrisy  both  at  home  and 
at  school.  At  home  you  must  hold  your  tongue', 
and  at  school  you  have  to  stand  up  and  tell  lies 
to  the  children. 


Have  you  to  tell  lies  .'' 

Yes ;    do    you    think    we    don't   have    to  tell 
them  many  and  many  a  thing  we  don't  believe 
ourselves  ? 


Ah,  that's  too  true. 

If  only  I  could  aflFord  it,  I  should  start  a  school 
myself,  and  things  should  be  very  different  there. 

Oh,  afford  it ! 

If  you  really  think  of  doing  that,  Miss  Stock- 
mann, I  shall  be  delighted  to  let  you  have  a 
room  at  my  place.  You  know  my  father's  old 
house  is  nearly  empty  ;  there's  a  great  big  dining- 
room  on  the  ground  floor 

[Laughing.]      Oh,  thank  you  very  much — but 
I'm  afraid  it  won't  come  to  anything. 

28  AN     KNKMN     OK      IllK     I'KOI'LK.  [aCT    I. 


No,  I  fancy  Miss  I'etra  is  more  likely  to  go  over 
to  journalism.  By  the  way,  have  you  had  time 
to  look  into  the  English  novel  you  promised  to 
translate  for  us  ? 


Not  yet.     But  you  shall  have  it  in  good  time. 

Dr,    Stockmann    enters    from    his   room,   ivith    the 
letter  open  in  his  hand. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Flourishing  the  letter.]     Here's  news^  I  can  tell 
you,  that  will  waken  up  the  town  ! 

News .'' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
What  news  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
A  great  discovery,  Katrina  ! 

Indeed .'' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Made  by  you  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann, 
Precisely — by  me  !     [  Walks  up  and  down.]     Now 
let  them  go  on  accusing  me  of  fads  and  crack- 
brained  notions      But  they  won't  dare  to  !     Ha- 
ha  !     I  tell  you  they  won't  dare  ! 

Do  tell  us  what  it  is,  father. 

act  i.]       an   enemv  of  the  people.  29 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  well,  give  me  time,  and  you  shall  hear 
all  about  it.    If  only  I  had  Peter  here  now  !     This 
just  shows    how  we  men  can  go  about   forming 
judgments  like  the  blindest  moles 

What  do  you  mean,  doctor  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Stopping  beside  the  table.]     Isn't  it  the  general 
opinion  that  our  town  is  a  healthy  place .'' 

Of  course. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
A  quite  exceptionally  healthy  place,  indeed — a 
place  to  be  warmly  recommended,  both  to  invalids 
and  people  in  health 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
My  dear  Thomas 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  assui-edly  we  haven't  failed  to  recommend 
and  belaud  it.   I've  sung  its  praises  again  and  again, 
both  in  the  Messenger  and  in  pamphlets 

Well,  what  then  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
These  Baths,  that  we  have  called  the  pulse  of  the 
town,  its  vital  nerve,  and — and  the  devil  knows 
what  else 

30  AN     KNKMV    OK    THE     PEOPLE.  [a  (  T    I. 

"  Our  city's  palpitatinj?  heart,"  I  once  ventured 
to  call  thcni  in  a  convivial  moment 

Dii.   Stockmann. 
Yes     I    daresay.       ^Vell — do   you    know    what 
thev    really   are,    these  mighty,    magnificent,  be- 
lauded Baths,  that  have  cost  so  much  money — do 
you  know  wiiat  they  are  ? 


No,  what  are  they  ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Do  tell  us. 

I)ii.  Stockmann. 
Simply  a  pestiferous  hole. 

The  Baths,  fatlier  ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[At  the  same  tirne.]     Our  Baths  ! 


[Also  0,t  the  same  time.^     But,  Doctor ! 


Oh,  it's  incredible  I 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

I  tell  you  the  whole  place  is  apoi.sonous  whited- 

sepulchre ;  noxious  in   the   hi<rhest  degree!     All 

that   filth    up    there  in   the   Mill    Dale— the  stuff 

that  smells  so  horribly — taints  the  water  in   the 

ACT    I.]  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  31 

feed-pipes  of  the  Pump- Room  ;  and  the  same 
accursed  poisonous  refuse  oozes  out  by  the 


Where  the  sea-baths  are  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 


But  how  are  you  so  sure  of  all  this,  Doctor  } 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I've  investigated  the  whole  thing  as  conscien- 
tiously as  possible.  I've  long  had  my  suspicions 
about  it.  Last  year  we  had  some  extraordinary 
cases  of  illness  among  the  patients — both  typhoid 
and  gastric  attacks 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  I  remember. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
We  thought  at  the  time  that  the  visitors  had 
brought  the  infection  with  them  ;  but  afterwards 
— last  winter — I  began   to   question   that.     So  I 
set  about  testing  the  water  as  well  as  I  could. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
It  was  that  you  were  working  so  hard  at ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Yes,  you  may  well  say   I've   worked,  Katrina. 

But    here,    you    know,    I    hadn't    the    necessary 

scientific    appliances ;    so    I    sent    samples    both 

of    our    drinking-water    and    of    our    sea-watei 

32  AN     ENKMV    0|-    TlIF,    I'KOl'I-E.  [acT    I. 

to    the     University,    for     exact     analysis     by    a 


And  you  have  received  his  report  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Sho/vifig  letlcr.]  Here  it  is  I  And  it  proves 
beyond  cHspute  the  presence  of  putrefying  organic 
matter  in  the  water — miUions  of  infusoria.  It's 
absolutely  pernicious  to  health,  whether  used 
internally  or  externally. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
What  a  blessing  you  found  it  out  in  time 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  you  may  well  say  that. 


And  what  do  you  intend  to  do  now,  Doctor  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,  to  set  things  right,  of  course. 

You  think  it  can  be  done,  then  i* 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
It  must  be   done.     Else  the  whole  Baths  are 
useless,  ruined.      But  there's  no  fear.      I  am  quite 
clear  as  to  what  is  required. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
]?ut,   my  dear  Thomas,  why   should   you   have 
made  such  a  secret  of  all  this  ? 

act  i.]      an  enemy   of  the  people.  33 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Would  you  have  had  me  rush  all  over  the  town 
and  chatter  about  it,  before  I  was  quite  certain  ? 
No,  thank  you  ;  I'm  not  so  mad  as  that. 

But  to  us  at  home 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
I  couldn't  say  a  word  to  a  living  soul.     But 
to-morrow  you  may  look  in  at  the  Badger's 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  Thomas ! 

Dr.  Smockmann. 
Well  well,  at  your  grandfather's.  The  old 
fellow  will  be  astonished!  He  thinks  I'm  not 
quite  right  in  my  head — yes,  and  plenty  of  others 
think  the  same,  I've  noticed.  But  now  these 
good  people  shall  see — yes,  they  shall  see  now  ! 
[fValks  up  and  down  rubbing  his  hands.]  What  a 
stir  there  will  be  in  the  town,  Katrina !  Just 
think  of  it !  All  the  water-pipes  will  have  to  be 


[Rising.]     All  the  water-pipes ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,  of  course.     The  intake  is  too  low  down  ; 
it  must  be  moved  much  higher  up. 

So  you  were  right,  after  all. 

34  AN     ENEMY     OK    THE    PEOl'LE.         [acT    I, 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  do  yoQ  remember,  Petra  ?  I  wrote  against 
it  when  they  were  beginning  the  works.  But  no 
one  would  listen  to  me  then.  Now,  you  may  be 
sure,  I  shall  give  them  my  full  broadside — for  of 
course  I've  prepared  a  statement  lor  the  Directors  ; 
it  has  been  lying  ready  a  whole  week  ;  I've  only 
been  waiting  for  this  report.  \^Points  to  letter.^ 
But  now  they  shall  have  it  at  once.  [Goes  into  his 
room  and  returns  with  a  MS.  in  his  hand.^  See  !  Four 
closely-written  sheets  !  And  I'll  enclose  the  report. 
A  newspaper,  Katrina  !  Get  me  something  to  wrap 
them  up  in.  There — that's  it.  Give  it  to — to — 
[Stamps.^ — what  the  devil's  her  name  ?  Give  it 
to  the  girl,  I  mean,  and  tell  her  to  take  it  at  once 
to  the  Burgomaster. 

[Mrs.  Stockmann  goes  out  tvith  the  packet 
through  the  dining-room. 

What  do  you  think  Uncle  Peter  will  say,  father.-* 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  should  he  say }      He  can't  possibly  be 
otherwise  than  pleased  that  so  important  a  fact 
has  been  brought  to  light. 

I  suppose  you  will  let  me  put  a  short  announce- 
ment of  your  discovery  in  the  Messenger. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  I  shall  be  much  obliged  if  you  will. 

It  is  highly  desirable  that  the  public  should 
know  about  it  as  soon  as  possible. 

act  i.]      an   enemy  of  the  people.  35 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  certainly. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Returning.^     She's  gone  with  it. 

Strike  me  dead  if  you  won't  be  the  first  man  in 
the  town.  Doctor ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Walks  up  and  dotvn  in  high  glee.]    Oh,  nonsense  i 
After  all,  I  have  done  no  more  than  my  duty.     I've 
been  a  lucky  treasure-hunter,  that's  all.     But  all 

the  same 

Hovstad,  don't  you   think  the  town   ought  to 
get  up  a  torchlight  procession  in  honour  of  Dr. 
Stockmann  } 

I  shall  certainly  propose  it. 

And  I'll  talk  it  over  with  Aslaksen. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
No,  my  dear  friends  ;  let  all  such  claptrap  alone. 
I  won't  hear  of  anything  of  the  sort.  And  if  the 
Directors  should  want  to  raise  my  salary,  I  won't 
accept  it.  I  tell  you,  Katrina,  I  will  not  accept 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
You  are  quite  right,  Thomas. 

[Raising  her  glass.]     Your  health,  father  ! 

36  AN     ENF.MY    OF     THE    PEOPLE.         [aCT    I. 

HovsTAD  n7Hl  Billing. 
Your  healtli,  your  health,  Doctor  ! 


\Clinkivg  glasses  ivith  the  Doctoh.]     I   liope  you 
may  have  nothing  but  joy  of  your  discovery. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Thanks,  thanks,  my  dear  friends  I  I  can't  tell 
you  how  happy  I  am — !  Oh,  what  a  blessing  it 
is  to  feel  that  you  have  deserved  well  of  your 
native  town  and  your  fellow  citizens  Hurrah, 
Katrina  1 

\He  puts  both  his  arms  round  her  neck, 
and  whirls  her  round  with  him.  Mrs. 
Stockmann  screams  and  struggles.  A 
hurst  of  laughter,  applause,  and  cheers 
for  the  Doctor.  The  boys  thrust  their 
heads  in  at  Ike  door. 


The  Doctor's  sitting-room.     The  dining-room  door  is 
closed.     Morning. 

Mrs.   Stockmann. 
[Enters  from  the  dining-i-oom  with  a  sealed  letter  in 
her  hand,  goes  to  the  foremost  door  on  the  right,  and 
peeps  ira.]     Are  you  there,  Thomas  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Within.']     Yes,  I  have  just  come  in.     \Enters.'\ 
What  is  it  ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
A  letter  from  your  brother.        [Hands  it  to  him. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Aha,  let  us  see.     [Opens  the  envelope  and  reads.'\ 

"  The   MS.   sent  me   is   returned   herewith " 

[Reads  on,  mumbling  to  himself.]     H'm — 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Well,  what  does  he  say  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Putting  the  paper  in  his  pocket.]     Nothing  ;  only 
that  he'll  come  up  himself  about  midday. 

Mrs.   Stockmann. 
Then  be  sure  you  remember  to  stay  at  home. 

.SS  AN     KNKMV     OK    THE     I'KOl'LE.  [a  (  T    II. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  I  can  easily  manage  that ;   I've  finished  my 
moniing's  visits. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
I  am  very  curious  to  know  how  he  takes  It. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You'll  see  he  won't  be  over-pleased  tliat  it  is  I 
that  have  made  the  discovery,  and  not  he  him- 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Ah,  that's  just  w^hat  I'm  afraid  of. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Of  course  at  bottom  he'll  be  glad.     But  still — 
Peter   is  damnably   unwilling  that  any  one  but 
himself  should  do  anything  for  the  good  of  the 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Do   you   know,  Thomas,    I   think    you     might 
stretch  a  point,  and  share  the  honour  with  him. 
Couldn't  it  appear  that  it  was  he  that  put  you  on 
the  track .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
By  all  means,  for  aught  I  care.     If  only  I  can 
get  things  put  straight 

Old  Morten  Kiil  puts  fits  head  in  at  the 
hall  door,  and  askx  slyly  . 

Morten  Kiil. 
Is  it— is  it  true  ? 

ACT    II.]         AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  39 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Going  towards  him.]     Father — i&  that  you  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Hallo^    father-in-law !      Good    morning,    gootl 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Do  come  in. 

Morten  Kiil. 
Yes,  if  it's  true ;  if  not,  I'm  off  again. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
If  what  is  true  ? 

Morten  Kiil. 
This   crazy   business   about    the   water-works 
Now,  is  it  true .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,  of  course  it  is.     But  how  came  you  to 
hear  of  it  ? 

Morten  Kiil. 
etra  looked  in 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[Cotning  i?i.]     Petra  looked  in  on  her  way  to  the 

Oh,  did  she  ? 

Morten  Kiil. 

Ay  ay — and  she  told  me — .  I  thought  she  was 
only  making  game  of  me ;  but  that's  not  like 
Petra  either. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
No,  indeed  ;  how  could  you  think  so .'' 

40  AN     KNKM\      OK     TIIK     I'KOl'LE.  [a(T    II. 

Morten  Kiil. 
Oil,  yoii  can  never  he  sure  of  anybody.     You 
may  be   made  a  fool  of  before  you  know  where 
you  are.     So  it  is  true,  after  all  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Most   certainly  it  is.     Do  sit  down,  father-in- 
law.      ^Forces  him  doivn  on  the  !<nf(i.^     Now   isn't  it 
a  real  blessing  for  the  town .'' 

Morten   Kiil. 
[Suppressing  his  laughter. ^^     A    blessing  for  the 
town  ? 

Dr.   Stockmann. 

Yes,  that  I  made  this  discovery  in  time 

Morten   Kiil. 
[As  before.]     Ay,  ay,  ay  ! — Well,  I  could  never 
have  believed  that  you  would  play  monkey-tricks 
with  your  very  own  brother. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Monkey-tricks ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Why,  father  dear 

Morten   Kiil. 
[Resting  his  hands  and  chin  on  the  top  of  his  stick 
and  blinking  slijli/  at  the   Doctor.]     What  was   it 
again  ?     Wasn't   it  that    some  animals   had    got 
into  the  water-pipes  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes ;  infusorial  animals. 

Morten   Kfil. 
And  any  number  of  these  animals  had  got  in, 
Petra  said — whole  swarms  of  them. 



act  ii.]       an    enemy   of   the    people.  41 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Certainly  ;  hundreds  of  thousands. 

Morten  Kiil. 
But  no  one  can  see  them — isn't  that  it  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Quite  right ;  no  one  can  see  them. 

Morten  Kiil. 
[With  a  quiet,  chuckling  laugh.]     I'll  be  damned 
if  that  isn't  the  best  thing  I've  heard  of  you  yet. 

Dr    Stockman, 
What  do  you  mean  ? 

Morten  Kiil. 
But  you'll  never  in  this  world  make  the  Burgo- 
master take  in  anything  of  the  sort. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  that  we  shall  see. 

Morten  Kiil. 
Do  you  really  think  he'll  be  hO  crazy  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  hope  the  whole  town  will  be  so  crazy. 

Morten  Kiil. 
The  whole  town !  Well,  I  don't  say  but  it 
may.  But  it  serves  them  right  ;  it'll  teach  them 
a  lesson.  They  wanted  to  be  so  much  cleverer 
than  we  old  fellows.  They  hounded  me  out  of 
the  Town  Council.  Yes  ;  I  tell  you  they  hounded 
me  out  like  a  dog,  that  they  did.     But  now  it's 

42  AN     KNEMY    OK    TIIK     I* KOI' I.  K.         [a(T    II. 

their  turn.      Just  you    keep   up   the   game  with 
them,  Stockmann. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  but,  father-in-law 

Morten   Kiil. 
Keep  it  up,  I  say.     [Rixing.]     If  you  can  make 
the   Burgomaster  and   his  gang  eat  humble  pie, 
I'll  give  a  hundred  crowns  straight  away  to  the 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Come,  that's  good  of  you. 

Morten  Kiil. 
Of  course  I've  little  enougii  to  throw  away  ;  but 
if  you  can  manage  that,  I  shall  certainly  remember 
the  poor  at  Christmas-time,  to  the  tune  of  fifty 

HovsTAD  enters  from  hall. 


Good  morning  !     [Pausing.']     Oh  !     I  beg  your 


Dr.  Stockmann. 
Not  at  all.     Come  in,  come  in. 

Morten   Kiil. 
[Chuckling  again.']     He  !     Is  he  in  it  too  > 

What  do  you  mean  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  of  course  he  is. 

act  11.]      an    enemv   of  the   people.  43 

Morten  Kiil. 
I  might  have  known  it !     It's  to  go  into  the 
papers.     Ah,    you're    the    one,  Stockmann !     Do 
you  two  lay  your  heads  together  ;  I'm  off. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh  no  ;  don't  go  yet,  father-in-law. 

Morten  Kiil. 
No,  I'm  off  now.     Play  them  all  the  monkey- 
tricks  you  can  think  of.     Deuce  take  me  but  you 
shan't  lose  by  it. 

[He  goes,  Mrs.  Stockmann  accompanying 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Laughing.^     What  do  you  think — ?     The  old 
fellow  doesn't  believe  a  word  of  all  this  about  the 


Was  that  what  he } 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes  ;  that  was  what  we   were   talking  about. 
And    I    daresay  you   have    come    on    the    same 
business  ? 


Yes,     Have  you  a  moment  to  spare.  Doctor  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
As  many  as  you  like,  my  dear  fellow. 


Have    you    heard    anything   from   the    Burgo- 
master .'' 

+  !•  AN     KNKMV    OK    THE    I'EOIM-E.        [aCT    II. 

I)ii.  Stockmann. 
Not  yet.     He'll  be  here  presently. 


I  have  been  thinking  the  matter  over  since  last 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well } 

Ho  VST  ad. 
To  you,  as  a  doctor  and  a  man  of  science,  this 
business   of  the  waterworks  appears  an  isolated 
artair.      I  daresay  it  hasn't  occurred  to  you  that  a 
good  many  other  things  are  bound  up  with  it."* 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Indeed  !     In  what  way  .''     Let  us  sit  down,  my 
dear  fellow. — No;  there,  on  the  sofa. 

[HovsTAD  si  Is  on  sofa  :  the   Doctor  in  an 
easy-chair  on  the  other  side  of  the  table. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  so  you  think } 


You  said  yesterday  that  the  water  is  polluted  by 
impurities  in  the  soil. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  undoubtedly ;    the  mischiet    comes   from 
that  poisonous  swamp  up  in  the  Mill  Dale. 


Excuse  me.  Doctor,  but  I   think  it  comes  from 
a  very  different  swamp. 

act  ii.]      an    enemv   of   the   people.  45 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  swamp  may  that  be  ? 


The  swamp  in  which  our  whole  municipal  life 
is  rotting. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

The  devil,  Mr.  Hovstad  I      What  notion  is  this 
you've  got  hold  of? 

All  the  affairs  of  the  town  have  gradually  drifted 
into  the  hands  of  a  pack  of  bui'eaucrats 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Come  now,  they're  not  all  bureaucrats. 

No  ;  but  those  who  are  not  are  the  friends  and 
adherents  of  those  who  are.    We  are  entirely  under 
the  thumb  of  a  ring  of  wealthy  men,  men  of  old 
family  and  position  in  the  town. 

Dr.  Stockmann, 
Yes,   but   they   are   also    men   of  ability  and 


Did  they  show  ability  and  insight  when  they 
laid  the  water-pipes  where  they  are  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
No  ;  that,  of  course,  was  a  piece  of  stupidity 
But  that  will  be  set  right  now. 

Do  you  think  it  will  go  so  smoothly  ? 

ICJ  AN     ENEMY    OK    THE    PEOPLE.         [aCT    II. 

Dr.  vStockmann. 
Well,  smoothly  or  not,  it  will  have  to  be  done, 


Yes,  if  the  press  exerts  its  influence. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Not  at  all  necessary,  my  dear  fellow  ;  I  am  sure 
my  brother 


Excuse  me.  Doctor,  but  I  must  tell  you  that  I 
think  of  taking  the  matter  up. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
In  the  paper  ? 


Yes.  When  I  took  over  the  People  s  Messenger,  I 
was  determined  to  break  up  the  ring  of  obstinate 
old  blockheads  who  held  everything  in  their  hands. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But  you  told  me  yourself  what  came  of  it.    You 
nearly  ruined  the  paper. 


Yes,  at  that  time  we  had  to  draw  in  our  horns, 
that's  true  enough.  The  whole  Bath  scheme 
might  have  fallen  through  if  these  men  had  been 
sent  about  their  business.  But  now  the  Baths  are 
an  accomplished  fact,  and  we  can  get  on  without 
these  august  personages. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Get  on  without  them,  yes;  but  still  we  owe 
them  a  great  deal. 

ACT    II.]         AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  47 


The  debt  shall  be  duly  acknowledged.  But  a 
journalist  of  my  democratic  tendencies  cannot  let 
such  an  opportunity  slip  through  his  fingers.  We 
must  explode  the  tradition  of  official  infallibility. 
That  rubbish  must  be  got  rid  of,  like  every  other 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
There  I  am  with  you  with  all  my  heart,  Mr. 
Hovstad.     If  it's  a  superstition,  away  with  it ! 


I  should  be  sorry  to  attack  the  Burgomaster,  as 
he  is  your  brother.  But  I  know  you  think  with 
me — the  truth  before  all  other  considerations. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,   of  course.      [^Vehemently.'\     But   still — ! 
but  still ! 


You  mustn't  think  ill  of  me.  I  am  neither 
more  self-interested  nor  more  ambitious  than  other 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Why,  my  dear  fellow — who  says  you  are  ? 

I  come  of  humble  folk,  as  you  know  ;  and  I  have 
had  ample  opportunities  of  seeing  what  the  lower 
classes  really  require.  And  that  is  to  have  a  share 
in  the  direction  of  public  affairs,  Doctor.  That 
is  what  develops  ability  and  knowledge  and  self- 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  understand  that  perfectly. 

48  AN     ENKMV     OK     THE     PFOI'LE.         [a(T    11. 


Yes  ;  and  I  think  a  journalist  incurs  a  heavy 
responsibiHty  if  he  lets  slip  a  chance  of  helping;  to 
emancipate  the  downtrodden  masses.  I  know 
well  enough  that  our  oligarchy  will  denounce  me 
as  an  agitator,  and  so  forth  ;  but  what  do  1  care  ? 
If  only  my  conscience  is  clear,  I 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Just  so,  just  so,   my   dear  Mr.  Hovstad.     But 

still — deuce  take  it !     [A  knock  at  ike  door.] 

Come  in  ! 

AsLAKSEN,  the  printer,  appears  at  the  door  leading 
to  the  hall.  lie  is  hiimblii  but  respectably  dres,<ied 
in  black,  wears  a  irhite  necktie,  slightly  crumpled, 
and  has  a  silk  hat  and  gloves  in  his  hand. 


[Hon'ing.]     I  beg  pardon,   Doctor,  for   making 

so  bold 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Rising.]  Hallo  I     If  it  isn't  Mr.  Aslaksen  ! 


Yes,  it's  me,  Doctor. 

[Rising.]     Is  it  me  you  want,  Aslaksen  .'' 

No,  not  at  all.     I  didn't  know  you  were  here. 
No,  it's  the  Doctor  himself 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  what  can  I  do  for  you  ? 

ACT    II.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  49 


Is  it  true,  what  Mr.  Billing  tells  me,  that  you're 
going  to  get  us  a  better  set  of  water-works  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  for  the  Baths. 


Of  course,  of  course.  Then  I  just  looked  in  to 
say  that  I'll  back  up  the  movement  with  all  my 


[To  the  Doctor.]     You  see  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I'm  sure  I  thank  you  heartily  ;  but 

You  may  find  it  no  such  bad  thing  to  have  us 
small  middle-class  men  at  your  back.  We  form 
what  you  may  call  a  compact  majority  in  the  town 
— when  we  really  make  up  our  minds,  that's  to 
say.  And  it's  always  well  to  have  the  majority 
with  you.  Doctor. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

No  doubt,  no  doubt ;  but  I  can  t  conceive  that 
any  special  measures  will  be  necessary  in  this  case. 
I  should  think  in  so  clear  and  straightforward  a 



Yes,  but  all  the  same,  it  can  do  no  harm.  I 
know  the  local  authorities  very  well — the  powers 
that  be  are  not  over  ready  to  adopt  suggestions 
from  outsiders.  So  I  think  it  wouldn't  be  amiss 
if  we  made  some  sort  of  a  demonstration. 

50  AN     ENEMY     OK    THE     PEOPLE.        [acT    II. 


Precisely  my  opinion. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
A  demonstration,  you  say  .''     But  in   what   way 
would  you  demonstrate  .'' 


Of  course  with  great  moderation,  Doctor.  1 
always  insist  upon  moderation ;  for  moderation 
is  a  citizen's  first  virtue — at  least  that's  my  way 
of  thinking. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

VV^e  all  know  that,  Mr.  Aslaksen. 


Yes,  I  think  my  moderation  is  generally  recog- 
nised. And  this  affair  of  the  water-works  is  very 
important  for  us  small  middle-class  men.  The 
Baths  bid  fair  to  become,  as  you  might  say,  a  little 
gold-mine  for  the  town.  We  shall  all  have  to  live 
by  the  Baths,  especially  we  house-owners.  So  we 
want  to  support  the  Baths  all  we  can  ;  and  as  I 
am  Chairman  of  the  House-owners'  Associa- 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Well ? 


And  as  I'm  an  active  worker  for  the  Tem- 
perance '  Society — of  course  you  know,  Doctor, 
that  I'm  a  temperance  man  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
To  be  sure,  to  be  sure. 

'  The  word  "  mtideholtl."  in  Norwegian,  means  both  "mode 
ration"  and  "  temperance." 

ACT    II.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  51 


Well,  you'll  understand  that  I  come  in  con- 
tact with  a  great  many  people.  And  as  I'm  known 
to  be  a  prudent  and  law-abiding  citizen,  as  you 
yourself  remarked.  Doctor,  I  have  a  certain  in- 
fluence in  the  town,  and  hold  some  power  in  my 
hands — though  I  say  it  that  shouldn't. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  know  that  very  well,  Mr,  Aslaksen. 


Well  then,  you  see — it  would  be  easy  fbr  me  to 
get  up  an  address,  if  it  came  to  a  pinch. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

An  address .'' 


Yes,  a  kind  of  vote  of  thanks  to  you,  from  the 
citizens  of  the  town,  for  your  action  in  a  matter 
of  such  general  concern.  Of  course  it  will  have 
to  be  drawn  up  with  all  fitting  moderation,  so  as 
to  give  no  offence  to  the  authorities  and  parties  in 
power.  But  so  long  as  we're  careful  about  that, 
no  one  can  take  it  ill,  I  should  think. 

Well,  even  if  they  didn't  particularly  like  it 

No  no  no  ;  no  offence  to  the  powers  that  be, 
Mr.  Hovstad.  No  opposition  to  people  that  can 
take  it  out  of  us  again  so  easily.  I've  had  enough 
of  that  in  my  time  ;  no  good  ever  comes  of  it.  But 
no  one  can  object  to  the  free  but  temperate  ex- 
pression of  a  citizen's  opinion. 

52  AN     ENEMY     OK    THE    PEOPLE.         [aCT    II. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Shakhig  his  hand.]  I  can't  tell  you,  my  dear 
Mr.  Aslaksen,  how  heartily  it  delights  me  to  find 
so  much  support  among  my  fellow  townsmen. 
I'm  so  happy — so  happy!  Come,  you'll  have  a 
glass  of  sherry  ?     Eh  ? 

No,    thank    you  ;     I     never    touch    spirituous 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Well,  then,  a  glass  of  beer — what  do  you  say  to 
that  ? 


Thanks,  not  that  either.  Doctor.  I  never  take 
anvlhing  so  early  in  the  day.  And  now  I'll  be 
off  round  the  town,  and  talk  to  some  of  the  house- 
owners,  and  prepare  public  opinion. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Its  extremely  kind  of  you,  Mr.  .Aslaksen  ;  but  I 
really  cannot  get  it   into  my  head  that  all  these 
preparations  are  necessary.      The  affair  seems  to 
me  so  simple  and  self-evident. 

The  authorities   always  move  slowly.  Doctor — 
God  forbid  I  should  blame  them  for  it 


We'll   stir  them   up   in  the    paper    to-morrow, 


No  violence,  Mr.   Hovstad.     Proceed  with   mo- 
deration, or  you'll   do   nothing  with  them.     Take 

ACT  II.]    AN  ENEMY  OE  THE  PEOPLE.       53 

my  advice ;  I've  picked  up  experience  in  the 
school  of  hfe. — And  now  I'll  say  good  morning, 
Doctor.  You  know  now  that  at  least  you  have  us 
small  middle-class  men  behind  you,  solid  as  a  wall. 
You  have  the  compact  majority  on  your  side, 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Many  thanks,  my  dear   Mr.  Aslaksen.     [Holds 
out  his  hand.]     Good-bye,  good-bye. 

Are  you  coming  to  the  office,  Mr.  Hovstad  ? 


I  shall  come  on  presently.  I  have  still  one  or 
two  things  to  arrange. 

Very  well. 

[Botvs  and  goes.     Dr.  Stockmann   accom- 
panies him  into  the  hall. 

[As  the  Doctor  re-enters.]     Well,  what  do  you 
say  to  that.  Doctor  ?     Don't  you  think  it  is  high 
time  we  should  give  all  this  weak-kneed,  half- 
hearted cowardice  a  good  shaking  up  .-* 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Are  you  speaking  of  Aslaksen  ? 


Yes,  I  am.  He's  a  decent  enough  fellow,  but 
he's  one  of  those  who  are  sunk  in  the  swamp.  And 
most  people  here  are  just  like  him;  they  are  for 
ever  wavering  and  wobbling  from  side  to  side ; 

T)-!-  AN     ENKMV     OK    TIIK     PEOPLE.         [acT    II. 

what   with  scruples  and    misgivings,   they   never 
dare  advance  a  step. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  but  Aslaksen  seems  to  me  thoroughly  well- 


There  is  one  thing  I  value  more  than  good 
intentions,  and  that  is  an  attitude  of  manly  self- 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

There  I  am  quite  with  you. 


So  I  am  going  to  seize  this  opportunity,  and  try 
whether  I  can't  for  once  put  a  little  grit  into  their 
good  intentions.  The  worship  of  authority  must  be 
rooted  up  in  this  town.  This  gross,  inexcusable 
blunder  of  the  waterworks  must  be  brought  home 
clearly  to  every  voter. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Very  well.     If  you  think  it's  for  the  good  of  the 
community,  so  be  it ;  but  not  till  I  have  spoken  to 
my  brother. 


At  all  events,  I  shall  be  writing  my  leader  in  the 
meantime.  And  if  the  Burgomaster  won't  take 
the  matter  up 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But  how  can  you  conceive  his  refusing  ? 

Oh,  it's  not  inconceivable.     And  then 

iCT    II.]         AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     PEOPLE 


Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well   then,  I  promise  you —  ;    look    here— in 
that  case  you  may  print  my  paper — put  it  in  just 
as  it  is. 


May  I  ?     Is  that  a  promise  .'* 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Handing  him  the  manuscript  ]     There  it  is  ;  take 
it  with  you.     You  may  as  well  read  it  in  any  case  ; 
you  can  return  it  to  me  afterwards. 


Very  good  ;  I  shall  do  so.     And  now,  good-bye, 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Good-bye,  good  bye.     You'll  see  it  will  all  go 
smoothly,  Mr.  Hovstad — as  smoothly  as  possible. 


H'm — we  shall  see. 

\Bows  and  goes  out  through  the  hall. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Going  to  the  dining-room  door   and  looking  z».] 
Katrina  !     Hallo  !  are  you  back,  Petra  .'' 

[Entering.l     Yes,  I've  just  got  back  from  school. 

Mrs,  Stockmann. 
[Entering  ]     Hasn't  he  been  here  yet  } 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Peter  }     No ;  but  I  have  been  having  a  long 

AN     KNKMV     OK     TIIK     I'Kol'I.K.         [  A  (    P    II. 

talk  with  Hovstad.  He's  quite  entluisiastic  about 
my  discovery.  It  turns  out  to  be  of  much  wider 
import  than' I  thought  at  first.  So  he  has  phiced 
his  paper  at  my  disposal,  if  1  should  require  it. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Do  you  think  you  will  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Not  I  !  But  at  the  same  time,  one  cannot  but 
be  proud  to  know  that  the  enlightened,  indejjen- 
dent  press  is  on  one's  side.  And  what  do  you 
think  ?  I  have  had  a  visit  from  the  Chairman  of 
the  House-owners'  Association  too. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Really  >     What  did  he  want  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
To  assure  me  of  his  support.    They  will  all  stand 
by  me  at  a  pinch.      Katrina,  do  you  know  what  1 
have  behind  me .'' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Behind    you  ?      No.     What   have   you    behind 
you  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

The  compact  majority ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

!      Oh  !     Is  that  good  for  you,  Thomas  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,    indeed;     I    should    think    it    was    good. 
Rubbing  his  hands  as  he  walks  up  and  down.]    Great 

ACT    II.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  57 

God  !  what  a  deliglit  it  is  to  feel  oneself  in  such 
brotherly  unison  with  one'a  fellow  townsmen  ? 


And   to   do   so  much  that's  good  and  useful, 
father ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  all  for  one's  native  town,  too  I 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
There's  the  bell. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
That  must  be  he.     [Knock  at  the  door.^     Come 
in ! 

Enter  Burgomaster  Stockmann  from  the  hall. 

Good  morning, 

Dr,  Stockmann, 
I'm  glad  to  see  you,  Peter, 

Mrs,  Stockmann. 
Good  morning,  brother-in-law.     How  are  you  .'' 

Oh,  thanks,   so-so,     [To  the  Doctor.]     Yester- 
day evening,  after  office   hours,  I   received   from 
you  a  dissertation  upon   the  state  of  the  water  at 
the  Baths, 

Dr,  Stockmann. 
Yes.     Have  you  read  it .'' 

I  have. 

58  AN     ENKM\     OK    TIIK    I'EOI'LE.        [acT    11 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  what  do  you  think  of  the  affair  ? 

H'm —  [  With  a  sidelong  glance. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Come,  Petra. 

[She  and  Petra  go  into  the  room  on  the  lejl 

[AJler  a  pause.]     Was  it  necessary  to  make  all 
these  investigations  behind  iny  back  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  till  I  was  absolutely  certain,  I 

And  are  you  absolutely  certain  now  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
My  paper  must  surely  have  convinced  you  of 

Is  it  your  intention  to  submit  this  statement  to 
the  Board  of  Directors,  as  a  sort  of  official  docu- 
ment .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Of  course.     Something  must  be  done    in   the 
matter,  and  that  promptly. 

As  usual,  you  use  very  strong  expressions  in  your 
statement.     Amongst  other  things,  you   say   that 
what  we  offer  our  visitors  is  a  slow  poison. 

act  n.]      an   enemy   of  the   people.  59 

Dr.  Stockmann, 

Why,  Peter,  what  else  can  it  be  called  ?  Only 
think — poisoned  water  both  internally  and  exter- 
nally !  And  that  to  poor  invalids  who  come  to  us 
in  all  confidence,  and  pay  us  handsomely  to  cure 
them ! 


And  then  you  announce  as  your  conclusion  that 
we  must  build  a  sewer  to  carry  off  the  alleged  im- 
purities from  the  Mill  Dale,  and  must  re-lay  all 
the  water-pipes. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes.      Can  you    suggest    any  other   plan  ? — I 
know  of  none. 

I  found  a  pretext  for  looking  in  at  the  town 
engineer's  this  morning,  and — in  a  half-jesting 
way — I  mentioned  these  alterations  as  things 
we  might  possibly  have  to  consider,  at  some 
future  time. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
At  some  future  time  ! 

Of  course  he  smiled  at  what  he  thought  my 
extravagance.  Have  you  taken  the  trouble  to 
think  what  your  proposed  alterations  would 
cost  ?  From  what  the  engineer  said,  I  gathered 
that  the  expenses  would  probably  mount  up  to 
several  hundred  thousand  crowns. 

Dr.  Stockmann 
So  much  as  that  ? 

()()  AN     ENK.MN     OF     I'llE    J'EOPLK.         [ACT    I. 

Yes.       But  that   is  not  the  worst       The  work 
would  take  at  least  two  years. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Two  years  !     Do  you  mean  to  say  two  whole 
years  ? 

At  least.  And  what  are  we  to  do  with  the 
Baths  in  the  meanwhile  f  Are  we  to  close  them  ? 
We  should  have  no  alternative.  Do  you  think 
any  one  would  come  here,  if  it  got  abroad  that  the 
water  was  pestilential  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But,  Peter,  that's  precisely  what  it  is. 


And  all  this  now,  just  now,  when  the  Baths  are 
doing  so  well  !  Xeigbouring  towns,  too,  are  not 
without  their  claims  to  rank  as  health-resorts. 
Do  you  think  they  would  not  at  once  set  to  work 
to  divert  the  full  stream  of  visitors  to  themselves.-' 
Undoubtedly  they  woulil  ;  and  we  should  be  left 
stranded.  VVe  should  ])robably  have  to  give  up 
the  whole  costly  undertaking  ;  and  so  you  would 
have  ruined  your  native  town. 

Dr.  Stockmann 
I — ruined ! 

It  is  only  through  the  Baths  ti)at  the  town  has 
any  future  worth  speaking  of.     ^  ou  surely  know 
that  as  well  as  I  do. 

act  ii.]      an   enemy   of  the   peopj  £.  6] 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Then  what  do  you  think  should  be  done  .'' 

I  have  not  succeeded  in  convincing  myself  that 
the    condition   of  the   water  at   the   Baths   is  as 
serious  as  your  statement  represents. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  tell  you  it's  if  anything  worse — or  will  be  in 
the  summer,  when  the  hot  weather  sets  in. 

I  repeat  that  I  believe  you  exaggerate  greatly 
A  competent  physician  should  know  what  measures 
to  take — he  should  be  able  to  obviate  deleterious 
influences,  and  to  counteract  them  in  case  they 
should  make  themselves  unmistakably  felt. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Indeed —  ?     And  then  — .'' 

The  existing  water-works  are,  once  for  all,  a 
fact,  and  must  naturally  be  treated  as  such.  But 
when  the  time  comes,  the  Directors  will  probably 
not  be  indisposed  to  consider  whether  it  may  not 
be  possible,  without  unreasonable  pecuniary  sacri- 
fices, to  introduce  certain  improvements. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  do  you  imagine  I  could  ever  be  a  party  to 
such  dishonesty  ? 

Dishonesty  ? 

62  AN     ENEMY     OK    TIIK     i'KOl'LK.         [acT    11. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  it  would  be  dishonesty — a  fraud,  a  lie,  an 
absolute  crime  against  the  public,  against  society 
as  a  whole  ! 

I  have  not,  as  I  before  remarked,  been  able  to 
convince    myself   that  there    is   really    any   such 
imminent  danger. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You  have  !  You  must  have  !  I  know  that  my 
demonstration  is  absolutely  clear  and  convincing. 
And  you  understand  it  perfectly,  Peter,  only  you 
won't  admit  it.  It  was  you  who  insisted  that  both 
the  Bath-buildings  and  the  water-works  should  be 
placed  where  they  now  are;  and  it's  tliat — it's 
that  damned  blunder  that  you  won't  confess. 
Pshaw  !     Do  you  think  I  don't  see  through  you  ? 


And  even  i :  it  were  so  ?  If  I  do  watch  over 
my  reputation  with  a  certain  anxiety,  I  do  it  for 
the  good  of  the  town.  Without  moral  authority 
I  cannot  guide  and  direct  affairs  in  the  way  I 
consider  most  conducive  to  the  general  welfare. 
Therefore^and  on  various  other  grounds — it  is 
of  great  moment  to  me  that  your  statement 
should  not  be  submitted  to  the  Board  of 
Directors.  It  must  be  kept  back,  for  the  good 
of  the  community.  Later  on  I  will  bring  up  the 
matter  for  discussion,  and  we  will  do  the  best 
we  can,  quietly ;  but  not  a  word,  not  a  whisper, 
of  this  unfortunate  business  must  come  to  the 
public  ears. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

But  it  can't  be  prevented  now,  my  dear  Peter. 

act  ii.]      an  enemy  of  the  people.  63 

It  must  and  shall  be  prevented. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
It  can't  be,  I  tell  you ;    far  too  many  people 
know  about  it  already. 

Know  about  it !  Who  }    Surely  not  those  fellows 
on  the  People's  Messenger .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh  yes ;  they  know.     The  liberal,  independent 
press  will  take  good  care  that  you  do  your  duty. 

[After  a  short  pause.]     You  are  an  amazingly 
reckless   man,  Thomas.     Have  not  you  reflected 
what  the  consequences  of  this  may  be  to  yourself.'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Consequences  .'' — Consequences  to  me  .'' 

Yes — to  you  and  yours. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  the  devil  do  you  mean  } 
I  believe  I  have  always  shown  myself  ready  and 
willing  to  lend  you  a  helping  hand. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  you  have,  and  I  thank  you  for  it. 

I  ask  for  no  thanks.      Indeed,  I  was  in   some 

6i  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE     PEOPLE.         [atT    II. 

measure  forced  to  act  as  I  did  —  for  my  own  sake. 
I  always  hoped  I  should  he  able  to  keep  you  a 
little  in  check,  if  I  helped  to  imorove  your 
pecuniary  position. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What !     So  it  was  only  for  your  own  sake ! 

In  a  measure,  I  say.     It  is  painful  for  a  man  in 
an  official  position,  when  his  nearest  relative  goes 
and  compromises  himself  time  after  time. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  you  think  i  do  that .'' 

Yes,  unfortunately,  you  do,  without  knowing  it. 
Yours  is  a  turbulent,  unruly,  rebellious  spirit.  And 
then  vou  have  an  unhappy  propensity  for  rushing 
into  print  upon  every  possible  and  impossible 
occasion.  You  no  sooner  hit  upon  an  idea  than 
you  must  needs  write  a  newspaper  article  or  a 
whole  pamphet  about  it. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Isn't  it  a  citizen's  duty,  when  he  has  conceived 
a  new  idea,  to  communicate  it  to  the  public ! 

Oh,  the  public  has  no  need  for  new  ideas.     The 
public  gets  on  best  with  the  good  old  recognised 
ideas  it  has  already. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You  say  that  right  out ! 

act  11.]   an  enemy  of  the  people.     65 

Yes,  I  must  speak  frankly  to  you  for  once. 
Hitherto  I  have  tried  to  avoid  it,  for  I  know  how 
irritable  you  are  ;  but  now  I  must  tell  you  the 
truth,  Thomas.  You  have  no  conception  how 
much  you  injure  yourself  by  your  officiousness. 
You  complain  of  the  authorities,  ay,  of  the 
Government  itself — you  cry  them  down  and  main- 
tain that  you  have  been  slighted,  persecuted.  But 
what  else  can  you  expect,  with  your  impossible 
disposition  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  indeed !     So  I  am  impossible,  am  I .'' 

Yes,  Thomas,  you  are  an  impossible  man  to 
work  with.  I  know  that  from  experience.  You 
have  no  consideration  for  any  one  or  any  thing  ; 
you  seem  quite  to  forget  that  you  have  me  to 
tliank  for  your  position  as  medical  officer  of  the 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
It  was  mine  by  right !  Mine,  and  no  one  else's  ! 
I  was  the  first  to  discover  the  town's  capabilities 
as  a  watering-place  ;  I  saw  them,  and,  at  that  time, 
I  alone.  For  years  I  fought  single-handed  for 
this  idea  of  mine  ;  I  wrote  and  wrote 

No  doubt ;  but  then  the  right  time  had  not 
come.  Of  course,  in  that  out-of-the-world  corner, 
you  could  not  judge  of  that.  As  soon  as  the 
propitious  moment  arrived,  I — and  others — took 
the  matter  in  hand 

66  AN     ENEMY     OK    THE     PEOPLE.         [a( 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  and  you  went  and  bujigled  the  whole  of 
my  glorious  j)lan.     Oh,  we  see  now  what  a  set  of 
wiseacres  you  were  ! 


All  /  can  see  is  that  you  are  again  seeking  an 
outlet  for  your  pugnacity.  You  want  to  make 
an  onslaught  on  your  su])eriors — that  is  ati  old 
habit  ot  yours.  You  cannot  endure  any  authority 
over  you  ;  you  look  askance  at  any  one  who  holds 
a  higher  post  than  your  own  ;  you  regard  him  as 
a  personal  enemy — and  then  you  care  nothing 
what  kind  of  weapon  you  use  against  him.  But 
now  I  have  shown  you  how  much  is  at  stake  for 
the  town,  and  consequently  for  me  too.  And 
therefore  I  warn  you,  Thomas,  that  I  am  in- 
exorable in  the  demand  I  am  about  to  make  ot 

Dr.  Stockmann, 

What  demand  ? 

As  you  have  not  had  the  sense  to  refrain  from 
chattering  to  outsiders  about  this  delicate  business, 
which  should  have  been  kept  an  official  secret,  of 
course  it  cannot  now  be  hushed  up.  All  sorts  ot 
rumours  will  get  abroad,  and  evil-disposed  j)ers()ns 
will  invent  all  sorts  of  additions  to  them.  It  will 
therefore  be  necessary  for  you  publicly  to  contra 
diet  these  rumours. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  !     How  ?     I  don't  understand  you .'' 


VV'e  expect  that,  after  further  investigation,  you 

ACT    II  ]         AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     PEOPLE.  67 

will  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  affair  is  not 
nearly  so  serious  or  pressing  as  you  had  at  first 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Aha  !     So  you  expect  that  ? 

Furthermore,  we  expect  you  to  express  your 
confidence  that  the  Board  of  Directors  will 
thoroughly  and  conscientiously  carry  out  all 
measures  for  the  remedying  of  any  possible 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  but  that  you'll  never  be  able  to  do,  so  long 
as  you  go  on  tinkering  and  patching.     I  tell  you 
that,  Peter  ;  and  it's  my  deepest,  sincerest  con- 


As   an  official,  you  have  no  right  to  hold  any 
individual  conviction. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Slarting.]     No  right  to ? 

As  an  official,  I  say.  In  your  private  capacity, 
of  course,  it  is  another  matter.  But  as  a  sub- 
ordinate official  of  the  Baths,  you  have  no  right  to 
express  any  conviction  at  issue  with  that  of  your 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
This  is  too  much  !     I,  a  doctor,  a  man  of  science, 
have  no  right  to ! 

The  matter  in  question  is  not  a  purely  scientific 

fig  AN     ENEMY     OF    THE    PEOPLE.         [aCT    II. 

one  ;  it  is  a  complex  affair  ;  it  has  both  a  technical 
and  an  economic  side. 

Dii.  Stockmann. 
What  the  devil  do  I  care  what  it  is  !     I  will  be 
free  to   speak   my  mind    upon  any  subject  under 
the  sun  ! 


As  you  please — so  long  as  it  does  not  concern 
the  Baths.     With  them  we  forbid  you  to  meddle. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Shouts.]    You  forbid !    You  !    A  set  of 

/  forbid  it — /,  your  chief;  and  when  I  issue  an 
order,  you  have  simply  to  obey. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Controlling  himself.]     Upon  my  word,  Peter,  if 
you  weren't  my  brother 

[Tears  open  the  door.]     Father,  you  shan't  sub- 
mit to  this  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

[Following  her.]     Petra,  Petra ! 

Ah  I     So  we  have  been  listening  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
The  partition  is  so  thin,  we  couldn't  help 

I  stood  and  listened  on  purpose. 

act  ii.]      an  enemv  of  the  people.  69 

Well,  on  the  whole,  I  am  not  sorry 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Cofning  nearer  to  kivt.]     You  spoke  to  me  of 
forbidding  and  obeying 

You  have  forced  me  to  adopt  that  tone. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  am  I  to  give  myself  the  lie,  in  a  public 
declaration .'' 

We  consider  it  absolutely  necessary  that  you 
should  issue  a  statement  in  the  terms  indicated. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  if  I  do  not  obey  ? 

Then  we  shall  ourselves  put  forth  a  statement 
to  reassure  the  public. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well  and  good  ;  then  I  shall  write  against  you. 
I   shall  stick  to  my  point  and  prove  that  /  am 
right,  and  you  wrong.     And  what  will  you  do 
then  } 


Then  I  shall  be  unable  to  prevent  your  dismissal. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

What ! 


Father !     Dismissal 

lO  AN     ENKMV     t)K    THE     I'KOI'LE. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Dismissal  ! 


Your  dismissal  from  the  Baths.  I  shall  be 
compelled  to  move  that  notice  be  ^iveii  you  at 
once,  and  that  you  have  henceforth  no  connection 
whatever  with  the  Baths. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You  would  dare  to  do  that ! 

It  is  you  who  are  playing  the  daring  game. 

Uncle,  this  is  a  shameful  way  to  treat  a  man 
like  father ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Do  be  quiet,  Petra  ! 

[Looking  at  Petra.]  Aha  I  We  have  opinions 
of  our  own  already,  eh  ?  To  be  sure,  to  be  sure  ! 
[To  Mrs.  Stockmann.]  Sister-in-law,  you  are 
presumably  the  most  rational  member  of  this 
household.  Tlse  all  your  'ufluence  with  your 
husband  ;  try  to  make  him  realise  what  all  this 
will  involve  both  for  his  family 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
My  family  concerns  myself  alone  ! 


both  for  his  family,  I  say,  and  for  the  town 

he  lives  in. 

act  ii.]     an   enemy  of  the  people.  71 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
It  is  I  that  have  the  real  good  of  the  town  at 
heart  I     I  want  to  lay  bare  the  evils  that,  sooner 
or  later,  must  come  to  light.    Ah  !     You  shall  see 
whether  I  love  my  native  town. 

YoUj  who,  in  your  blind  obstinacy,  want  to  cut 
off  the  town's  chief  source  of  prosperity  ! 

Dr    Stockmann 
That  source  is  poisoned,  man  !     Are  you  mad  ? 
We  live   by   trafficking   in    filth    and  corruption  ! 
The  whole  of  our  flourishing  social  life  is  rooted 
in  a  lie  I 

Idle  fancies — or  worse.     The  man  who  scatters 
broadcast  such  offensive  insinuations   against  his 
native  place  must  be  an  enemy  of  society, 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
\^Goi?ig  towards  hmi.^     You  dare  to I 

Mrs.  Stockmann, 
[Throwing  herself  between  them.^     Thomas  \ 

[Seising  her  father  s  ann.]     Keep  calm,  father ! 

I  will  not  expose  myself  to  violence.    You  have 
had  your  warning  now.      Keflect  upon  what  is  due 
to  yourself  and  to  your  family.     Good-bye. 

[He  goes. 
Dr.  Stockmann. 
[fValki7ig  up  and  down.]     And   I   must  put   up 

72  AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     PEOPLE.  [\CT    II. 

with  such  treatment  !     In  my  own  house,  Katiina  ' 
Wliat  do  you  say  to  that  ! 

Mils.  Stockmann. 
Indeed,  it's  a  shame  and  a  disgrace,  Thomas  » 

Oh,  if  I  could  only  get  hold  of  uncle ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
It's  my  own  fault  I  ought  to  have  stood  up 
against  them  long  ago — to  have  shown  my  teeth 
— and  used  them  too ! — And  to  be  called  an 
enemy  of  society!  Me!  I  won't  bear  it;  by 
Heaven,  I  won't ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann, 
But  my  dear  Thomas,  after  all,  your  brother 
has  the  power 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  but  I  have  the  right. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Ah  yes,  right,  right !     What  good  does  it  do  to 
have  the  right,  if  you  haven't  any  might .'' 

Oh,  mother — how  can  you  talk  so  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What !  No  good,  in  a  free  community,  to  have 
right  on  your  side  ?  What  an  absurd  idea, 
Katrina  !  And  besides — haven't  I  the  free  and 
independent  press  before  me — and  the  compact 
majority  at  my  back  .^  That  is  might  enough,  I 
should  think  I 

;T    II.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  13 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Why,  good  heavens,  Thomas  !  you're  surely  not 
thinking  of — —  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  am  I  not  thinking  of .'' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
— — of  setting  yourself  up  against  your  brothei', 
I  mean. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  the  devil  would  you  have  me  do,  if  not 
stick  to  what  is  right  and  true  .'' 

Yes,  that's  what  I  should  like  to  know  .-' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
But  it  will  be  of  no  earthly  use.    If  they  won't, 
they  won't. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Ho-ho,  Katrina  !  just  wait  a  while,  and  you  shall 
see  whether  I  can  fight  my  battles  to  the  end. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  to  the  end  of  getting  your  dismissal ;  that 
is  what  will  happen. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well  then,  I  shall  at  any  rate  have  done  my  duty 
towards   the   public,   towards  society — I  who  am 
called  an  enemy  of  society  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
But  towards  your  family,  Thomas  ?    Towards  us 
at  home  .''     Do  you  think  that  is  doing  your  duty 
towards  those  who  are  dependent  on  you  ? 

AN     ENKMN      dl"      TIIK     I'KOI'l.K.         [a<T    II. 


Oh,  mother,  don't  always  think  first  of  us. 
Mus.  Stock  MANN. 

Yes,  it's  easy  for  you  to  talk  ;  you  can  stand  alone 
if  need  be.-  But  renieniber  the  boys,  Thomas; 
and  think  a  little  of  yourself  too,  and  of  me 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

You're  surely  out  of  your  senses,  Katrina  I    If  I 

were  to   be  such  a  ])itiful   coward    as   to   knuckle 

under   to   this    Peter  and   his  confounded  crew — 

should  I  ever  have  another  happy  hour  in  all  my  life.^ 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

I  don't  know  about  that ;  but  God  preserve  us 
from  the  ha])piness  we  shall  all  of  us  have  if  you 
persist  in  defying  them.  There  you  will  be  again, 
with  nothing  to  live  on,  with  no  regular  income.  I 
should  have  thought  we  had  had  enough  of  that  in 
the  old  days.  Remember  them,  Thomas ;  think 
of  what  it  all  means. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[Struggling  with  Inmsclf  and  clenching  his  hands.] 
And  this  is  what  these  jacks-in-office  can  bring 
upon  a  free  and  honest  man  !  Isn't  it  revolting, 
Katrina  f 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

Yes,  no  doubt  they  are  treating  you  shamefully. 
But  God  knows  there's  ])lenty  of  injustice  one 
must  just  submit  to  in  this  world.— Here  are  the 
boys,  Thomas.  Look  at  them  I  What  is  to  become 
of  them  ?     Oh  no,  no  1    you  can  never  have  the 


EiLiF  and  Morten,  7vith  school-books,  have  meanwhile 

ACT      II.]        AN     F.N  KM  V     OF    TIIK     I'EOI'LE,  75 

Dr.  Stockmann, 
The  boys—— —  !  [  JVM  a  sudden  access  of  Jirmness 
and  decision.^  Never,  though  the  whole  earth  should 
crumble,  will  I  bow  my  neck  beneath  the  yoke. 

[Goes  to?vards  his  room, 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Follofvi7ig  Am.]     Thomas — what  are  you  going 
to  do  } 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[At  the  doorJ\    I  must  have  the  right  to  look  my 
boys  in  the  face  when  they  have  grown  into  free 
men.  [Goes  into  his  room^ 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Bursts  into  tears.^     Ah,  God  help  us  all  I 

Father  is  true  to  the  core.  He  will  never  give  in  ! 
[The   boys    ask    tvonderingb/    n'hat    it    all 
means ;  Petra  signs  to  them  to  be  quiet. 



The  Editor's  Room  of  the  "  Peopk's  Messenger  "  In 
the  hackground ,  to  the  left,  an  entrance-dour  ;  to 
the  right  another  door,  with  glass  panes,  through 
tvhich  can  be  seen  the  composing-room.  A  door 
in  the  right-hand  wall.  In  the  middle  of  the  room 
a  large  table  covered  with  papers,  newspapers,  and 
books.  In  front,  on  the  left,  a  windoiv,  and  by  it 
a  desk  with  a  high  stool.  A  couple  of  arm-chairs 
beside  the  table  ;  some  other  chairs  along  the  walls. 
The  room  is  dingy  and  cheerless,  the  furniture 
shabby,  the  arm-chairs  dirty  and  torn.  In  the 
composing-room  are  seen  a  few  compositors  at 
work  ;  further  back,  a  hand-press  in  operation. 

HovsTAD  is  seated  at  the  desk,  writing.  Presently 
BiLLiN  J  enters  from  the  right,  with  the  Doctor's 
manuscript  in  his  hand. 


Well,  I  must  say ! 


[^Writing.'\     Have  you  read  it  through  ? 

[Laying  the  MS.  on  the  desk.]    Yes,  I  should  think 
I  had. 


Don't  you  think  the  Doctor  comes  out  strong  ? 

act  iii.]     an   enemy   of   the   people.  77 

Strong  I      Why,    strike    me    dead    if   he    isn't 
crushing!    Every  word  falls  like  a— well,  like  a 


YeSj  but  these  fellows  won't  collapse  at  the  first 


True  enough ;  but  we'll  keep  on  hammering  away, 
blow  after  blow^  till  the  whole  officialdom  comes 
crashing  down.  As  I  sat  in  there  reading  that 
article,  I  seemed  to  hear  the  revolution  thundering 


[Turning  round.]  Hush  !  Don't  let  Aslaksen 
hear  that. 


[In  a  lower  voice.]  Aslaksen's  a  white-livered, 
cowardly  fellow,  without  a  spark  of  manhood  in 
him.  But  this  time  you'll  surely  carry  your  point  } 
Eh  ?     You'll  print  the  Doctoi*'s  paper.? 


Yes.  if  only  the  Burgomaster  doesn't  give  in 

That  would  be  deuced  annoying. 

HoVSTAD.  '  ^ 

Well,  whatever  happens,  fortunately  we  can  turn 
the  situation  to  account.  If  the  Burgomaster  won't 
agree  to  the  Doctor's  proposal,  he'll  have  all  the 
small  middle-class  down  upon  him — all  the  House- 
owners'  Association,  and  the  rest  of  them.  And 
if  he  does  agree  to  it,  he'll  fall  out  with  the  whole 

78  AN     ENKMV     OK    THK     I'KOPLE.       [aCT    III. 

crew  of  bi^  sharelioldt-rs   in  the  Baths,  who  have 
hitherto  been  his  main  support 


Yes,  of  course  ;  for  no  doubt  they'll  have  to  fork 
out  a  lot  of  money 


You  may  take  your  oath  of  that.  And  then, 
don't  you  see,  when  the  rinjr  is  broken  up,  we'll 
din  it  into  the  public  day  by  day  that  tlie  Hurjjo- 
master  is  incompetent  in  every  respect,  and  that 
all  responsible  positions  in  the  town,  the  whole 
municipal  government  in  short,  must  be  entrusted 
to  men  of  liberal  ideas. 

Strike  me  dead  if  that  isn't  the  square  truth  !   I 
see  it — 1  see  it :  we  are  on  the  eve  of  a  revolution  ! 

[A  knock  al  the  door. 


Hush  I     [C«//,v.]     Come  in  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann  enten-  from  the  back,  left. 


yGoing  towards  himi]  Ah,  here  is  the  Doctor. 
Well  > 

Dh.  Stockmann. 

Print  away,  Mr.  Hovstad  I 

So  it  has  come  to  that .'' 

Hurrah  ' 

ACT    in.]       AN    ENEMY    CfF    THE    PEOPLE.  79 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Print  away,  I  tell  you.     To  be  sure  it  has  come 
to  that.     Since  they  will  have   it  so,  they  must. 
War  is  declared,  Mr.  Billing  ! 

War  to  the  knife,  say  I !     War  to  the  death. 
Doctor  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
This  article  is  only  the  beginning.     I  have  four 
or  five  others  sketched  out  in  my  head  already.   But 
where  do  you  keep  Aslaksen  .'' 

[Calling  into  the  printitig-room.^    Aslasken  I  just 
come  here  a  moment. 


Four  or  five  more  articles,  eh  .''  On  the  same 
subject  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Oh  no — not  at  all,  my  dear  fellow.  No  ;  they 
will  deal  with  quite  different  matters.  But  they're 
all  of  a  piece  with  the  water-works  and  sewer 
question.  One  thing  leads  to  another.  It's  just 
like  beginning  to  pick  at  an  old  house,  don't  you 
know  ? 


Strike  me  dead,  but  that's  true  !  You  feel  you 
can't  leave  off  till  you've  pulled  the  whole  lumber- 
heap  to  pieces. 


[Filters  from  the  printing- room ^  Pulled  to  pieces  ! 
Surely  the  Doctor  isn't  thinking  of  pulling  the 
Baths  to  pieces  } 

80  AN     ENEMY    OK    THE    PEOI'LE.       [acT    III. 

Ho  VST  AD. 

Not  at  all.     Don't  be  alarmed. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Xo,  we  were  talkinn;  of  somethiii<r  quite  different. 
'Veil,  what  do  you  think  of  my  article,  Mr.  Hovstad.'' 

Ho  VST  AD. 

I  think  it's  simply  a  masterpiece 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  isn't  it  ?    I'm  glad  you  think  so — very  glad. 

it's  so  clear  and   to  the  point.     One  doesn't  in 
li.e  least  need  to  be  a  specialist  to  understand  the 
gist  of  it.     I  am  certain  every  intelligent  man  will 
be  on  your  side. 


And  all  the  prudent  ones  too,  I  hope  .'* 

Both    the    prudent    and     imprudent — in    fact, 
almost  the  whole  town. 


Then  I  suppose  we  may  venture  to  print  it. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
1  should  thmk  so  ! 


It  shall  go  in  to-morrow. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,   plague   take   it,  not   a  day  must   be   lost. 

ACT    in.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  81 

Look  here,  Mr.  Aslaksen,  this  is  what  I  wanted  to 
ask  you  :  won't  you  take  personal  charge  of  the 
article  .'' 


Certainly  I  will. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Be  as  careful  as  if  it  were  gold.  No  printers' 
errors  ;  every  word  is  important.  I  shall  look  in 
again  presently ;  perhaps  you'll  be  able  to  let  me 
see  a  proof. — Ah  I  I  can't  tell  you  how  I  long  to 
have  the  thing  in  print — to  see  it  launched 

Yes,  like  a  thunderbolt  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

and  submitted  to  the  judgment  of  every 

intelligent  citizen.  Oh,  you  have  no  idea  what  I 
have  had  to  put  up  with  to-day.  I've  been 
threatened  with  all  sorts  of  things.  1  was  to  be 
robbed    of     my     clearest     rights    as    a    human 


What  !     Your  rights  as  a  human  being  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

1  was  to  humble  myself,  and  eat  the  dust ; 

I  was  to  set  my  personal  interests  above  my 
deepest,  holiest  convictions 

Strike  me  dead,  but  that's  too  outrageous 

Oh,  what  can  you  expect  from  that  quarter  .'' 

82  AN     ENKMV    OF    THE     PEOPLE.         [aCT    111. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But  they  shall  find  they  were  mistaken  in  me  ; 
tliev  shall  learn  that  in  black  and  white,  I  promise 
tht'in  !  I  shall  throw  myself  into  the  breach  every 
day  in  the  Messenger,  boml)ard  them  with  one 
explosive  article  after  another 


Yes,  but  look  here 

Hurrah  I     It's  war  !     VVar ! 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
I   shall  smite  them  to  the  earth,  I  shall  crush 
them,  I   shall   level   their  entrenchments    to  the 
;rround   in  the   eyes  of  all  right-thinking   men  ! 
That's  what  I  shall  do  ! 

But   above  all    things   be   temperate,  Doctor ; 
bombard  with  moderation 

Not  at  all,  not  at  all  !     Don't  spare  the  dyna- 
mite ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

\Going  on  i?nperturha()Ii/.]  For  now  it's  no 
mere  question  of  water-works  and  sewer.s,  you  see. 
No,  the  whole  community  must  be  purged,  dis- 


There  sounds  the  word  of  salvation  ' 

Dh    Stockmann 
All  the  old  biufglers  must  be  sent  j)acking,  you 

ACT    III.]       AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  83 

understand.  And  that  in  every  possible  depart- 
ment !  Such  endless  vistas  have  opened  out  before 
me  to  day.  I  am  not  quite  clear  about  everything 
yet,  but  I  shall  see  my  way  presently.  It's  young 
and  vigorous  standard-bearers  we  must  look  for, 
my  friends  ;  we  must  have  new  captains  at  all  the 

Hear,  hear  ! 

Dr    Stockmann. 
And  if  only    we   hold   together,   it  will  go  so 
smoothly,  so  smootlily  !    The  whole  revolution  will 
glide  off  the  stocks  just  like  a  ship.     Don't  you 
think  so  .'* 


For  my  part,  I  believe  we  have  now  every 
prospect  of  placing  our  municipal  affairs  in  the 
right  hands. 


And  if  only  we  proceed  with  moderation,  I 
really  don't  think  there  can  be  any  danger. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Who  the  devil  cares  whether  there's  danger  or 
not !     What  I  do,  I  do  in  the  name  of  truth  and 
for  conscience'  sake. 


You  are  a  man  to  be  backed  up,  Doctor. 

Yes,  there's  no  doubt  the  Doctor   is   a    true 
friend   to   the  town  ;  he's  what  I  call  a  friend  of 

84  AN     ENKMV     OK    THK    PEOPLE.       [aCT    III. 

Strike  me  dead  if  Dr.  Stockmaiin  isn't  a  Friend 
of  the  People,  Aslaksen  ! 


I  have  no  doubt  the  House-owners'  Association 
will  soon  adopt  that  expression. 

Dii.  Stockmann. 
\^Shaking  their  hands,  deeplt/  7noved.]  Thanks, 
thanks,  my  dear,  faithful  friends  ;  it  does  me  good 
to  hear  you.  My  respected  brother  called  me 
something  very  different.  Never  mind !  Trust 
me  to  pay  him  back  with  interest !  But  I  must 
be  off  now  to  see  a  poor  devil  of  a  patient.  I  shall 
look  in  again,  though.  Be  sure  you  look  after 
the  article,  Mr.  Aslaksen ;  and,  whatever  you  do, 
don't  leave  out  any  of  my  notes  of  exclamation  I 
Rather  put  in  a  few  more  !  Well,  good-bye  for 
the  present,  good-bye,  good-bye. 

[Mutual  salutations  tvhile  they  accompany 
him  to  the  door.     He  goes  out. 


He  will  be  invaluable  to  us. 


Yes,  so  long  as  he  confines  himself  to  this 
matter  of  the  Baths.  But  if  he  goes  further,  it 
will  scarcely  be  advisable  to  follow  him. 


H'm — that  entirely  depends  on 

You're  always  so  confoundedly  timid^  Aslaksen. 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE, 



Timid  ?  Yes,  when  it's  a  question  of  attacking 
local  authorities,  I  am  timid,  Mr.  Billing;  I  have 
learnt  caution  in  the  school  of  experience,  let  me 
tell  you.  But  start  me  on  the  higher  politics, 
confront  me  with  the  Government  itself,  and  then 
see  if  I'm  timid. 

No,   you're   not;  but   that's  just   where  your 
inconsistency  comes  in. 


The  fact  is,  I  am  keenly  alive  to  my  responsi- 
bilities. If  you  attack  the  Government,  you  at 
least  do  society  no  harm ;  for  the  men  attacked 
don't  care  a  straw,  you  see — they  stay  where  they 
are  all  the  same.  But  local  authoritiescanbe  turned 
out ;  and  then  we  might  get  some  incompetent 
set  into  power,  to  the  irreparable  injury  both  of 
house-owners  and  other  people. 


But  the  education  of  citizens  by  self-govern- 
ment— do  you  never  think  of  that  .^ 


When  a  man  has  solid  interests  to  protect,  he 
can't  think  of  everything,  Mr.  Hovstad. 


Then  I  hope  I  may  never  have  solid  interests 
to  protect. 

Hear,  hear  ! 

8t)  AN     KNKMN      <)K    TIIK     I'KOI'LK.       [a  (  T     111. 


[Smiling.]  H'm  !  [Pointx  to  the  desk]  Governor 
StensgarcU  sat  in  that  editorial  chair  before  you. 

[Spitting.]     Pooh  I     A  turncoat  like  that ! 


I  am  no  weathercock— and  never  will  be. 


A  politician  should  never  be  too  sure  of  any- 
thing on  earth,  Mr.  And  as  for  you, 
Mr.  Billing,  you  ought  to  lake  in  a  reef  or  two,  1 
should  say,  now  that  you  are  applying  for  the 
secretaryship  to  the  Town  Council. 

I ! 


Is  that  soj  Billing  ? 


Well,  yes— but,  deuce  take  it,  you  understand, 
I'm  only  doing  it  to  spite  their  high-mightinesses. 


Well,  that  has  nothing  to  do  with  me.  But  if 
I  am  to  be  accused  of  cowardice  and  inconsistency, 
I  should  just  like  to  point  out  this  :  My  political 
record  is  open  to  every  one.  I  have  not  changed 
at  all,  except  in   becoming  more  moderate.     My 

•  It  will  be  remeniberedthat  ./^slaksen  figures  in  The  League 
of  Youth,  oS.  which  Stensgard  is  the  central  character.  Stens- 
gard,  we  see,  has  justified  Lundestad's  prophecy  by  attaining  the 
high  administrative  dignity  of  "  Stiftamtmand,  '  here  roughly 
translated  "  Governor." 

ACi      III.]       AN     ENEMY     OF     THE     PEOPLE.  87 

heart  still  belongs  to  the  people  ;  but  I  don't 
deny  that  my  reason  inclines  somewhat  towards 
the  authorities — the  local  ones,  I  mean. 

[Goes  into  the  printing-room.^ 

Don't  you  think   we   should   try  to  get  rid  of 
him,  Hovstad .'' 


Do  you  know  of  any  one  else  that  will  pay  for 
our  paper  and  printing  ? 

What  a  confounded  nuisance  it  is  to  have  no 
capital ! 

[Sitting  down  by  the  desk.\     Yes,  if  we  only  had 


Suppose  you  applied  to  Dr.  Stockmann  ? 

[Turning  over  his  papers.]     What  would  be  the 
good  ?     He  hasn't  a  rap. 

No  ;  but  he  has  a  good  man  behind   him — old 
Morten  Kiil — "The  Badger,"  as  they  call  him. 

[Writing.]     Are  you  so  sure  he  has  money  .'' 

Yes,  strike  me  dead  if  he  hasn't !     And  part  of 
it  must  certainly  go  to  Stockmann's  family.    He  s 
bound  to  provide  for — for  the  children  at  any  rate. 

88  AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     I'EOI'LE.       [aCT    HI. 


[Half  turning.]     Are  you  counting  on  that  ? 


Counting  ?     How  should  I  be  counting  on  it  ? 


Best  not !  And  that  secretaryship  you  shouldn't 
count  on  either;  for  I  can  assure  you  you  won't 
get  it. 


Do  you  think  I  don't  know  that .''  A  refusal  is 
the  very  thing  I  want.  Such  a  rebuff  fires  the 
spirit  of  opposition  in  you,  gives  you  a  fresh  supj)ly 
of  gall,  as  it  were  ;  and  that's  just  what  you  need 
in  a  god-forsaken  hole  like  this,  where  anything 
really  stimulating  so  seldom  happens, 


[Writing.]     Yes,  yes. 

Well — they  shall  soon  hear  from  me  ! — Now  I'll 
go  and  write   the  appeal  to  the  House-owners' 
Association.  [Goes  into  the  room  on  the  right. 


[Sits  at  his  desk,  biting  his  penholder,  and  says 
slowly  :]  H'm — so  that's  the  way  of  it. — [A  knock 
at  the  door.]     Come  in. 

Petra  enters  from  the  hack,  left. 


[Rising.]     What !     Is  it  you  ?     Here  } 

ACT    in.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  89 

Yes  ;  please  excuse  me 


[Offering  her  an  ar7n-chair.^  Won't  you  sit 
down  ? 

No,  thanks  ;  I  must  go  again  directly. 


Perhaps    you     bring    a    message     from    your 

father .'' 


No,  I  have  come  on  my  own  account.  [Takes 
a  book  from  the  pocket  of  her  cloak^  Here  is  that 
English  story, 


Why  have  you  brought  it  back  .'* 

Because  I  won't  translate  it. 


But  you  promised 

Yes;  but  then  I  hadn't  read  it.     I  suppose  you 
have  not  read  it  either  .'' 


No  ;  you  know  I  can't  read  English  ;  but 

Exactly  ;  and  that's  why  I  wanted  to  tell  you 
that  you  must  find  something  else,     [Putting   the 

f)()  AN     KNKMN      OK      T 1 1  K     I'KOIM,  K.        [a(T    III. 

(}(utl{   on    the   tabic.]     This  will    never  do   for  the 


Why  not  ? 

Because  it  flies  in  tiie  face  of  all  your  convictions. 

Well,  for  that  matter 

You  don't  understand  me.  It  makes  out  that  a 
supernatural  power  looks  after  the  so-called  <ro(H\ 
people  in  this  world,  and  turns  everything  to  their 
advantage  at  last;  while  all  the  so-called  bad 
people  are  punished. 

Yes,  but  that's  all  right.     That's  the  very  thing 
the  jiublic  like. 


And  would  you  supply  the  public  with  such 
stuff?  You  don't  believe  a  word  of  it  yourself. 
You  know  well  enough  that  things  do  not  really 
happen  like  that. 


Of  course  not ;  but  an  editor  can't  always  do  as 
he  likes.  He  has  often  to  humour  people's  fancies 
in  minor  matters.  After  all,  politics  is  the  chief 
thing  in  life — at  any  rate  for  a  newspaper:  and  if 
I  want  the  people  to  follow  me  along  the  path  of 
emancipation  and  progress,  I  mustn't  scare  them 
away.      If  they  find  a  moral  story  like  this  down 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENKMV     OK    THE     I'EOIM.R.  })1 

in  the  cellai*,'  they  ai-e  all  the  more  ready  to  take 
in  what  we  tell  them  above — they  feel  themselves 

For  shame  !     You're  not  such  a  hypocrite  as  to 
set  traps  like  that  for  your  readers.     You're  not  a 


[S7niling.]     Thanks  for  your  good  opinion.     It's 
true  that  the  idea  is  Billing's,  not  mine. 

Mr.  Billing's  ! 

Yes,  at  least  he  was  talking  in  that  strain  the 
other  day.      It  was  Billing  that  was  so  anxious  to 
get  the  story  into  the  paper  ;  I  don't  even  know 
the  book. 

But  how  can  Mr.    Billing,    with  his  advanced 


Well,  Billing  is  many-sided.     He's  applying  for 
the  secretaryship  to  the  Town  Council,  I  hear. 

I  don't  believe  that,  Mr.  Hovstad.      How  could 
he  descend  to  such  a  thing  ? 

That  you  must  ask  him. 

•  The  reference  is  to  the  continental  feuilleton  at  the  foot  of 
the  page. 

92  AN     ENEMY     OK    TlIK    I'EOI'LE.       [acT    III. 

I  could  never  have  thought  it  of  Billing  ! 


[Looking  more  closeli/  at  her.'\     No  ?     Is  it  such  ;i 
surprise  to  you  ? 


Yes.      And   yet — perhaps  not.      Oh,  I   don't 


We  journalists  are  not  worth  much,  Miss  Petra. 

Do  you  really  ?ay  that .'' 

I  think  so,  now  and  then. 

Yes,  in  the  little  every-day  squabbles — that  I 
can  understand.     But  now  that  you  have  taken  up 

a  great  cause 

You  mean  this  affair  of  your  father's  ? 

Of  course.     I  should  think  you  must  feel  your- 
self worth  more  than  the  general  run  of  people 

Yes,  to-day  I  do  feel  something  of  the  sort. 

Yes,  surely  you  must.    Oh,  it's  a  glorious  career 
you  have  chosen  !     To  be  the  pioneer  of  unrecog- 

ACT    III.]       AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  93 

nised  truths  and  new  and  daring  ways  of  thought ! 
— even,  if  that  were  all,  to  stand  forth  fearlessly 
in  support  of  an  injured  man 


Especially  when  the  injured  man  is — I  hardly 
know  how  to  put  it 

You  mean  when  he  is  so  upright  and  true  ? 


[In  a  tow  voice.]     I  mean — especially  when  he  is 
your  father. 

[Suddenly  taken  aback.]     That .'' 


Yes,  Petra — Miss  Petra. 

So  that  is  your  chief  thought,  is  it }     Not  the 
cause  itself .''     Not  the  truth  ?     Not  father's  great, 
warm  heart .'' 


Oh,  that  too,  of  course. 

No,  thank  you ;  you  said  too  much  that  time, 
Mr.  Hovstad.     Now  I  shall  never  trust  you  again, 
in  anything. 

Can  you  be  so  hard  on  me  because  it's  mainly 

for  your  sake .'' 

What  I  blame  you  for  is  that  you  have  not  acted 


94  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.       [acT    III. 

straijifhtforwardly  towards  father.  You  have  talked 
to  liim  as  if  you  cared  only  for  the  truth  and  the 
fjood  of  the  community.  You  have  trifled  with 
hoth  father  and  me.  You  are  not  the  man  you 
pretended  to  be.  And  that  1  will  never  forgive 
you — never. 


You  shouldn't  say  that  so  bitterly,  Miss  Petra — 
least  of  all  now. 

Why  not  now  .'' 

Because  your  father  cannot  do  without  my  help. 


[Measuring  him  from  head  to  foot.]     So  you  are 
capable  of  that,  too  .''     Oh,  shame  ! 


No,  no.  I  spoke  without  thinking.  You  mustn't 
believe  that  of  me. 

I  know  what  to  believe.     Good-bye. 

AsLAKSEN  enters  from  printing-room,  hirriedly 
and  mysteriously . 


What    do    you    think,    Mr.    Hovstad — [Seeing 
Petra.]     Ow,  that's  awkward 

Well,  there  is  the  book.     You  must  give  it  to 
some  one  else.  [Going  fotrtinls  the  main  door. 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  95 


[Followiiig  her.]     But,  Miss  Petra 

Good-bye.  [She  goes. 


1  say,  Mr.  Hovstad ! 


Well  well  ;  what  is  it  } 


The  Burgomaster's  out  there,  in  the  printing- 


The  Burgomaster  ? 


Yes.  He  wants  to  speak  to  you  ;  he  came  in 
by  the  back  way— he  didn  t  want  to  be  seen,  you 

What  can  be  the  meaning  of  this  ?     Stop,  I'll 

go  myself 

[Goes  towards  the  printing- roo?n,  opens  the 
door,  bows  and  invites  the  Burgomaster 
to  enter. 

Keep  a  look  out,  Aslaksen,  that  no  one 


I  understand  [Goes  into  the  printing-room. 

You  didn't  expect  to  see  me  here,  Mr.  Hovstad. 

96  AN     ENEMY     OK    TlIK     PEOPLE.       [acT    III. 

Ho  VST  AD. 

No,  I  cannot  say  that  I  did. 


[Lookmg  about  Aiw.J     You  are  very  comfortably 
installed  here — capital  quarters. 

Ho  VST  AD. 


And  here  have  I  come,  without  with  your  leave 
or  by  your  leave,  to  take  up  your  time 

Ho  VST  ad. 
You  are  very  welcome.  Burgomaster ;  I  am  at 
your  service.      Let  me  take  your  cap  and  stick. 
[He  does  so,  and  puts  them  on  a  chair.^     And  won't 
you  be  seated  .'' 

[Sitting  down  bi/  the  table.]     Thanks.     [Hovstad 
a/so  sits  by  the  table.]     I   have   been  much — very 
much  worried  to-day,  Mr.  Hovstad. 

Really  ?     Well,  I  suppose  with  all  your  various 
duties.  Burgomaster 

It  is  the  Doctor  that    has    been    causing   me 
annoyance  to-day. 

Indeed  !     The  Doctor  ? 

He  has  written  a  sort  of  memorandum  to  the 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  97 

Directors  about  some  alleged  shortcomings  in  the 


Has  he  really  ? 

Yes  ;  hasn't  he  told  you  ?  I  thought  he  said 


Oh   yesj  by-the-bye,    he    did    mention    some- 
ji       thing—— 


[From  the  printing-office.]     I've  just  come  for  the 


[In  a  tone  of  vexation.']     Oh  ! — there  it  is  on  the 


[Finding  it.]     All  right. 

Why,  that  is  the  very  thing 

Yes,  this  is  the  Doctor's  article,  Burgomaster. 


Oh,  is  that  what  you  were  speaking  of.? 

Precisely.     What  do  you  think  of  it .? 


I  have  no  technical   knowledge  of  the  matter, 
and  I've  only  glanced  through  it. 

98  AN     ENEMY     OK    THC     PEOPLE.        [aCT    III. 

And  yet  you  are  going  to  print  it ! 


I  can't  very  well  refuse  a  signed  communica- 


I  have  nothing  to  do  with   the  editing  of  the 
paper,  Burgomaster 

Of  course  not. 


I  merely  print  what  is  placed  in  my  hands. 

Quite  right,  quite  right. 


So  I  must [Goes  towards  the  printing-room. 

No,  stop  a  moment,  Mr.  Aslaksen.     With  your 
permission,  Mr.  Hovstad 


By  all  means,  Burgomaster. 

You  are  a  discreet  and  thoughtful  man,  Mr, 


I  am  glad  you  think  so.  Burgomaster. 

And  a  man  of  very  wide  influence. 

ACT    III.]       AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  9Q 


Well — chiefly  among  the  lower  middle-class. 

The  small  taxpayers  form  the  majority — here  as 


That's  very  true. 

And  I  have  no  doubt  that  you  know  the  general 
feeling  among  them.     Am  I  right .'' 

Yes,  I  think  I  may  say  that  I  do,  Burgomaster. 

Well — since  our  townsfolk  of  the   poorer  class 
appear  to  be  so  heroically  eager  to  make  sacri- 

How  so  ? 


Sacrifices .-' 


It  is  a  pleasing  evidence  of  public  spirit — a  most 
pleasing  evidence.  I  admit  it  is  more  than  I 
should  quite  have  expected.  But,  of  course,  you 
know  public  feeling  better  than  I  do. 

Yes  but,  Burgomaster 

And  assuredly  it  is  no  small  sacrifice  the  town 
will  have  to  make. 

100  AN     ENRMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.       [aCT    III. 


The  town  .'' 


But  I  don't  understand .     It's  the  Baths 


At  a  rough  provisional  estimate,  the  alterations 
the  Doctor  thinks  desiral)le  will  come  to  two  or 
three  hundred  thousand  crowns. 


That's  a  lot  of  money  ;  but 

Of    course    we    shall    be   obliged   to   raise    a 
municipal  loan. 


[Rising.]     You    surely    can't    mean    that    the 

town ? 


Would  you  come  upon   the  rates .''     Upon  the 
scanty  savings  of  the  lower  middle-class  .'' 

Why,  my  dear  Mr.  Aslaksen,  where  else  are  the 
funds  to  come  from  ? 

The  proprietors  of  the  Baths  must  see  to  that. 

The  proprietors  are  not  in  a  position  to  go  to 
any  further  expense. 

Are  you  quite  sure  of  that,  Burgomaster  .!* 

ACT    in.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  101 

I  have  pof  itive  information.     So  if  these  exten- 
sive alterations  are  called  for,  the  town  itself  will 
have  to  bear  the  cost. 


Oh,  plague  take  it  all — I  beg  your  pardon  ! — 
but  this  is  quite  another  matter,  Mr.  Hovstad. 


Yes,  it  certainly  is. 

The  worst  of  it  is,  that  we  shall  be  obliged  to 
close  the  establishment  for  a  couple  of  years. 


To  close  it .''     Completely .'' 


For  two  years  i 

Yes,  the  work  will  require  that  time^at  least. 


But,  damn  it  all !  we  can't  stand  that.  Burgo- 
master. What  are  we  house-owners  to  live  on  in 
the  meantime  ? 


It's  extremely  difficult  to  say,  Mr.  Aslaksen. 
But  what  would  you  have  us  do  ?  Do  you  think 
a  single  visitor  will  come  here  if  we  go  about 
making  them  fancy  that  the  water  is  poisoned, 
that  the  place  is  pestilential,  that  the  whole 

102  AN     ENEMY     OF    TUK     PEOPLE.       [aCT    III. 


And  it's  all  nothing  but  fancy  ? 

With  the  best  will  in  the  world,  I  have  failed  to 
convince  myself  that  it  is  anything  else. 


In  that  case  it's  simply  inexcusable  of  Dr. 
Stockmann — I    beg   your    pardon,    Burgomaster, 



I'm  sorry  to  say  you  are  only  speaking  the 
truth,  Mr.  Aslaksen.  Unfortunately,  my  brother 
has  always  been  noted  for  his  rashness. 

And  yet  you  want  to  back  him  up  in  this,  Mr. 
Hovstad ! 


But  who  could  possibly  imagine  that ? 

I  have  drawn  up  a  short  statement  of  the  facts, 
as  thev  appear  from  a  sober-minded  standpoint ; 
and  I  have  intimated  that  any  drawbacks  that 
m;«y  possibly  exist  can  no  doubt  be  remedied  by 
measures  compatible  with  the  finances  of  the  Baths. 


Have  you  the  article  with  you.  Burgomaster  ? 

[Feeling  in  his  pockets.]     Yes  ;  I  brought  it  with 
me,  in  case  you 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  103 


[Qiiickli/.'\     Plague  take  it,  there  he  is ! 

Who  }     My  brother  ? 

Where .''    where  ? 


He's  coming  through  the  composing-room. 

Most  unfortunate  I     I  don't  want  to  meet  him 
here,  and  yet  there  are  several  things  I  want  to 
talk  to  you  about. 

\^Pointing  to  the  door  on  the  7-ight.^     Go  in   there 
for  a  moment. 

But > 

You'll  find  nobody  but  Billing  there. 

Quick,  quick,  Burgomaster;  he's  just  coming. 

Very  well,  then.     But  try   to  get  rid   of  him 

[He  goes  out  by  the  door  on  the  right, 
which  Aslaksen  opens,  and  closes  behi?id 

lOl'  AN     KN'KNn      OF     llli;     I'Kol'I.K.        [aCT    III. 

Ho  VST  AD. 

Pretend  to  be  busy,  Aslaksen. 

[He  sil.s  down  ami  jirites.  Aslaksen  turns 
ov^er  a  heap  of  newspapers  on  a  chair, 

I)n.  Stockmann. 
[Entering  from  the  composing-roow.^      Here  I  am, 
back  again.     [Puts  down  his  hat  and  stick.^ 


[Writing.'\  Ab'eady,  Doctor.^  Make  haste  with 
what  we  were  s|)eaking  of,  Aslaksen.  We've  no 
time  to  lose  to-day. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[To  Aslaksen.]     No  proof  yet,  I  hear. 

[Without  turning  round.]     No;    how  could  you 
expect  it  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Of  course  not ;  but  you  understand  my  im- 
patience, I  can  have  no  rest  or  peace  until  I  see 
the  thing  in  print. 


H'm;  it  will  take  a  good  while  yet.  Don't 
you  think  so,  Aslaksen  .'' 

I'm  afraid  it  will. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
All  right,  all   right,   my  good    friend  ;    then    I 
shall  look  in  again.    I'll  look  in  twice  if  necessary. 
With  so  much  at  stake — the  welfare  of  the  whole 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE. 


town — one  mustn't  grudge  a  little  trouble.  [Is  on 
the  point  of  going  but  stops  and  comes  back.'^  Oh,  by 
the  way — there's  one  other  thing  I  must  speak  to 
you  about. 


Excuse  me  ;  wouldn't  some  other  time ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  can  tell  you  in  two  words.     You  see  it's  this : 
when   people  read  my   article   in   the    paper  to- 
morrow, and  find  I  have  spent   the  whole  winter 
working  quietly  for  the  good  of  the  town 


Yes  but,  Doctor 

Dr.  Stockmann, 
I  know  what  you're  going  to  say.  You  don't 
think  it  was  a  bit  more  than  my  duty — my  simple 
duty  as  a  citizen.  Of  course  I  know  that,  as  well 
as  you  do.  But  you  see,  my  fellow  townsmen — 
good  Lord  !  the  poor  souls  think  so  much  of 


Yes,  the  townspeople    have   hitherto   thought 
very  highly  of  you.  Doctor. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
That's  exactly  why  I'm  afraid  that — .  What  I 
wanted  to  say  was  this  :  when  all  this  comes  to 
them — especially  to  the  poorer  classes — as  a 
summons  to  take  the  affairs  of  the  town  into  their 
own  hands  for  the  future 

[Rising.^     H'm,  Doctor,  I  won't  conceal  from 


10()  AN     ENEMY     «)K    THE    PEOPLE.       [aCT    III. 

Dr.  Stockm.xnn. 
Aha  !     I  thoufj;ht  there  was  something  brewing  1 
But  I   won't  hear  of  it.     If  they  are   getting  uj) 
anything  of  that  sort-- 


Of  what  .sort  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Well,  anything  of  any  .sort — a  procession  with 
banners,  or  a  banquet,  or  a  subscription  for  a 
testimonial,  or  whatever  it  may  be — you  must 
give  me  your  soleuni  promise  to  put  a  stop  to  it. 
And  you  too,  Mr.  Aslaksen  ;  do  you  hear  ? 


Excuse  me,  Doctor ;  we  may  as  well  tell  you 
the  whole  truth  first  as  last 

Mrs.  Stockmann  enters  from  the  back,  left 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Seeing  the  Doctor.]     Ah  !  just  as  I  thought 

[Going  towards  her.]    Mrs.  Stockmann,  too  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  the  devil  do  you  want  here,  Katrina  } 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
You  know  very  well  what  I  want 

Won't  you  sit  down  ?     Or  perhaps 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Thanks,  please  don't  trouble.      And  you  must 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENEMV    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  107 

forgive  my  following  my  husband  here  ;  remember, 
I  am  the  mother  of  three  children. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Stuff  and  nonsense  !     We  all  know  that  well 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Well,   it  doesn't   look   as  if  you  thought   very 
much  about  your  wife  and  children  to  day,  or  you 
wouldn't  be  so  ready  to  plunge  us  all  into  ruin. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Are  you  quite  mad,  Katiina  I  Has  a  man  with 
a  wife  and  children  no  right  to  proclaim  the 
truth  ?  Has  he  no  right  to  be  an  active  and 
useful  citizen  ?  Has  he  no  right  to  do  his  duty 
by  the  town  he  lives  in  .'' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Everything  in  moderation,  Thomas ! 


That's  just  what  I  say.  Moderation  in  every- 

Mrs.  Stockmann 

You  are  doing  us  a  great  wrong,  Mr  Hovstad, 
in  enticing  my  husband  away  from  house  and 
home,  and  befooling  him  in  this  way. 


I  am  not  befooling  any  one 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Befooling  !     Do  you  think  I  should  let  myself 
be  befooled  ? 

lOS  AN     KNKMV     OK     IMK     I'KOI'LK.        [\(    T 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  tliat's  just  what  you  do.  I  know  very  well 
that  you  are  the  cleverest  man  in  the  town ;  but 
you're  very  easily  made  a  fool  of,  Thomas  [To 
HovsTAi).]  Remember  that  he  loses  his  post  at 
the  Baths  it  you  print  what  he  has  written 


What  : 


Well  now,  really,  Doctor 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Loiighiiig.]     Ha  ha  !  just  let  them  try — !     No 
no,  my  dear,  they'll    think   twice  about   that.      I 
have  the  compact  majority  behind  me,  you  see  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
That's  just  the  misfortune,  that  you  should  have 
such  a  horrid  thing  behind  you. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Nonsense,  Katrina ; — you  go  home  and  look 
after  vour  house,  and  let  me  take  care  of  society. 
How  can  you  be  in  such  a  fright  when  you  see  me 
so  confident  and  happy  ■''  [liiihhhig  his  hands  and 
ivalkingup  ami  dotrn]  Truth  and  the  People  must 
win  the  day  ;  you  may  be  perfectly  sure  of  that. 
Oh  I    1  can  see  all  our  free-souled  citizens  standing 

shoulder  to  shoulder  like  a  conquering  army ! 

[Slopping  by  a  chair.'\      Why,   what   the  devil  is 


[Looking  at  il.']     Oh  Lord  ' 

ACT    III.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE  109 


[The  same.]     H'm — 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,  here's  the  top  knot  of  authority  ! 

[He  takes  the  Burgomaster's  official  cap 
carefulli/  hetiveen  the  tips  of  his  fingers 
and  holds  it  tip. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
The  Burgomaster's  cap  I 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  here's  the  staff  of  office,  too  !     But  how  in 
the  devil's  name  did  they ? 


Well  then 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Ah,  I  understand  !  He  has  been  here  to  talk 
you  over.  Ha,  ha  !  He  reckoned  without  his  host 
that  time  !  And  when  he  caught  sight  of  me  in  the 
printing-room — [Blasts  aid  laughing] — he  took  to 
his  heels,  eh,  Mr.  Aslaksen  ? 


[Hurriedly.]  Exactly ;  he  took  to  his  heels, 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Made  off  without  his  stick  and .     No,  that 

won't  do  !  Peter  never  left  anything  behind  him. 
But  where  the  devil  have  you  stowed  him  }  Ah 
— in  here,  of  course.     Now  you  shall  see,  Katrina 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Thomas — I  implore  you ! 

110  AN     ENEMY     OF    THE    PEOPLE.       [aCT    III. 


Take  care,  Doctor  1 

[Dr.  Stockmann  has  put  on  the  Burgo- 
master's cfip  and  grasped  his  stick  ;  he 
note  goes  up  to  the  door,  throws  it  open, 
and  makes  a  militaiy  salute. 

The  Burgomaster  enters,  red  with  anger.     Behind 
him  comes  Billing. 

What  is  the  meaning  of  these  antics  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Respect,  my  good  Peter  '.     Now,  it's  I  that  am  in 
power  in  this  town.  [He  struts  ttp  and  down. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Almost  in  tears.']     Oh,  Thomas  I 

[Following  him.]     Give  me  my  cap  and  stick  .' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[As  before.]     You  may  he  Chief  of  Police,  but  1 
am  Burgomaster.     I  am  master  of  the  whole  town  I 

tell  you  ! 


Put  down  my  cap,   I  say.     Remember  it  is  an 
official  cap,  as  by  law  prescribed  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Pshaw  !    Do  you  think  the  awakening  lion  of  the 
democracy  will  let  itself  be  scared  by  a  gold-laced 
cap?     There's  to  be  a  revolution  in  the  town  to- 
morrow, let  me  tell  you.     You  threatened  me  with 

ACT    III.]       AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  Ill 

dismissal;  but  now  /  dismiss  you— dismiss  you 
from  all  your  offices  of  trust — .  You  think  I  can't 
do  it? — Oh,  yes,  I  can  !  I  have  the  irresistible  forces 
of  society  on  my  side.  Hovstad  and  Billing  will 
thunder  in  the  People's  Messenger,  and  Aslaksen 
will  take  the  field  at  the  head  of  the  House-owners' 
Association  •  ■■ 


No,  Doctor,  I  shall  not. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,  of  course  you  will 

Aha  !     Perhaps  Mr.  Hovstad  would  like  to  join 
the  agitation  after  all .'' 

No,  Burgomaster. 

No,  Mr.  Hovstad  isn't  such  a  fool  as  to  ruin  both 
himself  and  the  paper  for  the  sake  of  a  delusion. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Looking  about  him.']     What  does  all  this  mean  .^ 

You  have  presented  your  case  in  a  false  light. 
Doctor;  therefore   I  am  unable  to  give  you  my 
support.  ,'       ;    i 

-BtCLTNG.    i      '     -^'^  ■> '  '^ 
And  after  what  the  Burgomaster  has  been  so  kind 
as  to  explain  to  me,  I 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
In  a  false  light !    Well,  I  am  responsible  for  that. 

112  AN     ENF.MV     OF    THE     PEOPLE.        [aCT    III. 

Just  you  print  iny  article,  and  I  promise  you  I  shall 
prove  it  up  to  the  hilt. 


I  shall  not  print  it.  I  cannot,  and  will  not,  and 
dare  not  print  it. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You  dare  not  ?     What  nonsense  is   this .''     You 
are  editor ;  and  I  suppose  it's  the  editor  that  con- 
trols a  paper. 


No,  it's  the  subscribers,  Doctor. 



It's  public  opinion,  the  enlightened  majority, 
the  house-owners  and  all  the  rest.  It's  they  who 
control  a  paper. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[Calmlt/.]  And  all  these  powers  I  have  against 
me  ? 


Yes,  you  have.  It  would  mean  absolute  ruin 
for  the  town  if  your  article  were  inserted. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
So  that  is  the  way  of  it ! 

My  hat  and  stick  I 

[Dr.  Stockmann  lakes  off  the  cap  and  lai/.i 
it  on  the  lah/c  alon^  with  th(  stick 

act  iii.]     an   enemy  of  the   people,  113 

\Taking  them  both.'\     Your  term  of    office    has 
come  to  an  untimely  end. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
The  end  is  not  yet.     [To  Hovstad.]     So  you  are 
quite  determined  not   to  print  my  article  in  the 
Messenger  ? 

Quite  ;  for  the  sake  of  your  family,  if  for  no 
other  reason. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  be  kind  enough  to  leave  his  family  out  of 
the  question,  Mr.  Hovstad. 


[Takes  a  manuscript  from  his  pocket.]  When  this 
appears,  the  public  will  be  m  possession  of  all 
necessary  information;  it  is  an  autlientic  statement. 
I  place  it  in  your  hands. 


[Taking  the  MS.]  Good.  It  shall  appear  in  due 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

And  not  mine  !  You  imagine  you  can  kill  me 
and  the  truth  by  a  conspiracy  of  silence !  But  it 
■won't  be  so  easy  at  you  think.  Mr.  Aslaksen,  will 
you  be  good  enough  to  print  my  article  at  once, 
as  a  pamphlet  ?  I'll  pay  for  it  myself,  and  be  my 
own  publisher.  I'll  have  four  hundred  copies — 
no,  five — six  hundred. 

No.     If  you  offered  me  its  weight  in  gold,  I  dare 

1  1  i  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE     PEOPLE.       [aCT    III. 

not  lend  my  press  to  such  a  purpose,  Doctor.  I 
daren't  fly  in  the  face  of  public  opinion  You  won't 
get  it  printed  anywhere  in  the  whole  town. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Then  give  it  me  back. 


[Handing  him  the  MS.]     By  all  means. 

Dn.  Stockmann, 
[Taking  up  his  hat  and  cane.]     It  shall  be  made 
public  all  the  same.      I  shall  read  it  at  a  great  mass 
meeting ;  all    my  fellow   citizens    shall   hear  the 
voice  of  truth  I 

Not  a  single  society  in  the  town  would  let  you 
their  hall  for  such  a  purpose. 


Not  one,  I'm  quite  certain. 

No,  strike  me  dead  if  they  would  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
That  would  be  too  disgraceful !     Why  do  they 
turn  against  you  like  this,  every  one  of  them  ? 

Dr.  Stoi.kv  \nn. 
[Irritated.]     I'll  tell  you  why.     Its  because  in 
this  town  all  the   men  are  old   "omen — like  you. 
They  all  think  of  nothing  but  theil    families,  not 
of  the  general  good. 

act  iii.]      an  enemy  of  the  people.         115 

Mrs.  Stockmann, 
[Taking  his  arm.]     Then  I'll  show  them  that  an 
—an  old  woman  can  be  a  man  for  once  in  a  way. 
For  now  I'll  stand  by  you,  Thomas. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Bravely  said,  Katrina  !  I  swear  by  my  soul  and 
conscience  the  truth  shall  out !  If  they  von't  let 
me  a  hall,  I'll  hire  a  drum  and  march  through  the 
town  with  it;  and  I'll  read  my  paper  at  every 
street  corner. 

You  can  scarcely  be  such  a  raving  lunatic  as 
that  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  am. 


You  would  not  get  a  single  man  in  the  whole 
town  to  go  with  you. 

N»,  strike  me  dead  if  you  would  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Don't  give  in,  Thomas.     I'll  ask  the  boys  to  go 
with  you. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

That's  a  splendid  idea  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Morten  will  be  delighted  ;  and  Eilif  will  go  too, 
I  daresay. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,   and   so   will    Petra!     And  you  yourself, 
Katrina  ! 

Il6  AN    ENEMY     OK    THE    PEOPLE.       [aCT    III. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
No  no,  not  I.     But  I'll  stand  at  the  window  and 
watch  you — that  I  will. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Thro7i'iiig  his  arms  about  her  and  kissing  her. ) 
Thank  you  for  that  I  Now,  my  jjood  sirs,  we  re 
ready  for  the  fight  I  Now  we  shall  see  whether 
your  despicable  tactics  can  stop  the  mouth  of  the 
patriot  wiio  wants  to  purge  society  ! 

\^He  and  his  wife  go  out  together  by  the  door 
in  the  back,  lef\.^ 

[Shaking  his  head  dubiously. '\     Now  he  has  turned 
her  head  too  '. 



A  large  old-fashioned  room  in  Captain  Horster's 
house.  An  open  folding-door  in  the  background 
leads  to  an  anteroom.  In  the  wall  on  the  left 
are  three  windoivs.  About  the  middle  of  the 
opposite  wall  is  a  platform,  and  on  it  a  small 
table,  two  candles,  a  water-bottle  and  glass,  and 
a  bell.  For  the  rest,  the  room  is  lighted  by 
sconces  placed  between  the  windows.  In  frofd, 
on  the  left,  is  a  table  with  a  candle  on  it,  and 
by  it  a  chair.  In  front,  to  the  right,  n  door,  and 
near  it  a  few  chairs. 

Large  assemblage  of  all  classes  of  towns  folk.  In  the 
crowd  are  a  few  women  and  schoolboys.  More 
and  more  people  gradually  stream  in  from  the 
back  until  the  room  is  quite  ^ull. 

First  Citizen, 
[To  another  standing  near  him.]     So  you're  here 
too,  Lamstad  ? 

Second  Citizen, 
1  never  miss  a  public  meeting, 

A  Bystander. 
I  suppose  you've  brought  your  whistle  ? 

Second  Citizen. 
Of  course  I  have  ;  haven't  you .'' 


118  AN     KNKM\      OK    TIIK     I'EOl'LE.        [alT    IV. 

Third  Citizen. 
I  should  think  so.     And  Skipper  Evensen  said 
he'd  bring  a  thumping  big  horn. 

Second  Citizen. 
He's  a  good  'un,  is  Evensen  ! 

[^Laughter  in  the  group. 

A  Fourth  Citizen. 
[Joining   them.]     I     say,    what's    it    all    about .'' 
What's  going  on  here  to-night .'' 

Second  Citizen. 
Why,  it's  Dr.  Stockmann  that's  going  to  lecture 
against  the  Burgomaster. 

Fourth  Citizen. 
But  the  Burgomaster's  his  brother. 

First  Citizen. 
That  makes    no   difference.     Dr.    Stockmann's 
not  afraid  of  him. 

Third  Citizen. 
But  he's  all  wrong ;  the  People's  Messenger  says 

Second  Citizen. 

Yes,  he  must  be  wrong  this  time  ;  for  neither 
the  House-owners'  Association  nor  the  Citizens' 
Club  would  let  him  have  a  hall. 

First  Citizen. 
They  wouldn't  even  lend  him  the  hall  at  the 

Second  Citizen. 
No,  you  may  be  sure  they  wouldn't. 

ACT    IV.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  119 

A  Man. 

[In    another  group.]     Now,  who's   the   one    to 
follow  in  this  business,  eh  .'' 

Another  Man. 
[In   the  same  group.]     Just  keep  your  eye  on 
Aslaksen,  and  do  as  he  does. 

[With  a  portfolio  wider  his  arm,  makes  his  ivay 
through  the  cioivd.]     Excuse  me,  gentlemen.     Will 
you  allow  me  to  pass  }     I'm  here  to  report  for  the 
People's  Messenger.     Many  thanks. 

[Sits  by  the  table  on  the  left. 

A  Working-man. 
Who's  he  ? 

Another  Working-man. 
Don't  you  know  him  }     It's  that  fellow  Billing, 
that  writes  for  Aslaksen' s  paper. 

Captain  Horster  enters  by  the  door  in  front  on 
the  right,  escorting  Mrs.  Stockmann  and  Petra, 
EiLiF  and  Mortkn  follow  them. 

This  is  where  I  thought  you  might  sit ;  you  can 
so  easily  slip  out  if  anything  should  happen. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Do  you  think  there  will  be  any  disturbance  ? 

One  can  never  tell— with  such  a  crowd.     But 
there's  no  occasion  for  anxiety. 


I'JO  AN     ENKMV     OK     TIIK     I'KOl'LK.        [a(T    IV. 

Mrs.  Stockman n. 
[Sitting  down.]     How  kind  it  was  of  you  to  offer 
Stockmann  this  room. 


Since  no  one  else  would,  I 

[Who  has  also  seated  herself.]     And  it  was  brave 
too,  Captain  Horster. 


Oh,  I  don't  see  where  the  bravery  comes  in. 

HovsTAD  and  Aslaksen  enter  at    the  same  moment, 
bid  make  their  tvay  through  the  c.ro7vd  separately. 

[Going  lip  to   Horster.]        Hasn't  the   Doctor 
come  yet } 

He's  waiting  in  there. 

[A  moveynenl  at  the  door  in  the  background. 


[To    Billing.]       There's     the     Burgomaster! 


Yes,  strike    me  dead   if  he    hasn't  put  in  an 
appearance  after  all  ! 

Burgomaster  Stockmann  makes  his  irai/  hlandli/ 
through  the  meeting,  bowing  politeli/  to  both 
sides,  and  takes  his  stand  hi/  the  wall  on  the  left. 
Soon  afterwards,  Dr.  Stockmann  enters  by  the 
door  on  the  right.  lie  wears  a  black  frock- 
coal  and  white  necktie.  Faint  applause,  met 
by  a  subdued  hissing.      Then  silence. 

act  iv.]     an   enkmv   of  the  i'eople.  121 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[In  a  low  toneJ^     How  do  you  feel,  Katrina  ? 

Mrs.   Stockmann. 
Quite  comfortable,  thank  you.     [In  a  low  voice^l 
Now  do  keep  your  temper,  Thomas. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  I  shall  keep  myself  well  in  hand.     [Looks 
at  his  watch,  ascends  the  platform,  and  bows.^     It's  a 

quarter  past  the  hour,  so  I  shall  begin 

[Takes  out  his  MS. 
But  surely  a  chairman  must  be  elected  first. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
No  ,  that's  not  at  all  necessary. 

Several  Gentlemen. 
[Shouting.^     Yes,  yes. 

I  should  certainly  say  that  a  chairman  ought  to 
be  elected. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

But  I've  called  this  meetijig  to  give  a  lecture, 
Peter ! 


Dr.   Stockmann's  lecture   may  possibly  lead   to 
differences  of  opinion. 

Several  Voices  in  the  Crowd. 
A  chairman  J     A  chairman  I 


The  general  voice  of  the  meeting  seems  to  be 
for  a  chairman ! 

122  AN     ENEMN      oF     TIIK     I'KOl'LK.        [aCT    IV. 

Dr.  Stock  MANN. 
[Coiilrolling  hms('lf.'\     V^ery  well  then  ;  let  the 
meeting  have  its  way. 


Will  not  the  Burgomaster  take  the  chair? 

Three  Gentlemen. 
[Clapping.]     Bravo :     Bravo ! 

For  reasons  you  will  easily  understand,  I  must 
decline.  But,  fortunately,  we  have  among  us  one 
whom  I  think  we  can  all  accept.  I  allude  to  the 
president  of  the  House-owners'  Association,  Mr. 

Manv  Voices, 
Ves,    yes!        Bravo     Aslaksen  I        Hurrah     for 
Aslaksen  ! 

[Dr.  Stockmann  lakes  his  MS.  and  descends 
from,  the  platform. 

Since  my  fellow  citizens  repose  this  trust  in  me, 

I  cannot  refuse 

[Applause  and  cheers.     Aslaksen  ascends 
the  platform. 

[Writing.']     So — "  Mr.  Aslaksen  was  elected  by 



And  now,  as  I  have  been  called  to  the  chair,  I 
take  the  liberty  of  saying  a  few  brief  words.  I 
am  a  quiet,  peace-loving  man  ;  I  am  in  favour  of 
discreet    moderation,   and    of — and    of  moderate 

ACT    IV.]       AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     PEOPLE.  1  2i 


discretion.  Every  one  who  knows  me,  knows 

Many  Voices. 

Yes,  yes,  Aslaksen  ! 

I    have    learnt    in    the    school    of   life    and  of 
experience  that  moderation  is  the  virtue  in  which 
the  individual  citizen  finds  his  best  advantage 

Hear,  hear  ! 


and  it  is  discretion   and   moderation,  too, 

that  best  serve  the  community.  I  could  there- 
fore suggest  to  our  respected  fellow  citizen,  who 
has  called  this  meeting,  that  he  should  endeavour 
to  keep  within  the  bounds  of  moderation. 

A  Man. 
[%  the  door.']     Three  cheers  for  the  Temperance 
Society  ! 

A  Voice. 
Go  to  the  devil ! 

Hush  I  hush  ! 

No  interruptions,  gentlemen  ! — Does  any  one 
wish  to  offer  any  observations.'' 

Mr.  Chairman  ! 

Burgomaster     Stockmann     will     address     the 

1SJ4  AN     KNF.M^      OK    TIIK     I' K.i)  IM.  K.       [.ACT    IV. 

On  account  of  my  close  relatioii';hii> — of  which 
you  are  probably  aware — to  the  present  medical 
officer  of  the  Baths,  I  should  have  preferred  not 
to  speak  here  this  evening.  But  my  position  as 
chairman  of  the  Baths,  and  my  care  for  the  vital 
interests  of  this  town,  force  me  to  move  a  resolu- 
tion. I  may  doubtless  assume  that  not  a  single 
citizen  here  present  thinks  it  desirable  that  un- 
trustworthy and  exaggerated  statements  slionld 
get  abroad  as  to  the  sanitary  condition  of  the 
Baths  and  of  our  town. 

Many  Voices. 
No,  no,  no  !     Certainly  not  !     We  protest 

I   therefore  beg  to  move,  "  That  this  meeting 
declines  to  hear  the  proposed   lecture  or  speech 
on    the   subject    by    the    medical    officer    of   the 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[Flaring  up.]     Declines  to  hear I     What  do 

you  mean  .' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Coughi7ig.]     H'm  !  h'm  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Controlling f.]     So  I  am  not  to  be  heard.'' 


In  my  statement  in  the  People' f,  Messenger  I  have 

made   the  public  acquainted    with  the    essential 

facts,  so  that  all  well-disposed  citizens  can  easily 

form  their  own  judgment.      From  that  statement 

ACT    IV.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  12.5 

it  will  be  seen  that  the  medical  officer's  proposal 
—  besides  amounting  to  a  vote  of  censure  upon 
the  leading  men  of  the  town — at  bottom  only 
means  saddling  the  ratepayers  with  an  un- 
necessary outlay  of  at  least  a  hundred  thousand 
crowns.  [Sounds  of  protest  and  some  kissing. 


[Ringing  the  bell.]  Order,  gentlemen  !  I  must 
beg  leave  to  support  the  Burgomaster's  resolution. 
I  quite  agree  with  him  that  there  is  something 
beneath  the  surface  of  the  Doctor's  agitation.  In 
all  his  talk  about  the  Baths,  it  is  really  a  revolu- 
tion he  is  aiming  at  ;  he  wants  to  effect  a  redis- 
tribution of  power.  No  one  doubt  the  excellence 
of  Dr.  Stockmann's  intentions — of  course  there 
cannot  be  two  opinions  as  to  that.  I,  too,  am  in 
favour  of  self-government  by  the  people,  if  only  it 
doesn't  cost  the  ratepayers  too  much.  But  in 
this  case  it  would  do  so ;  and  therefore  I'll  be 
hanged  if — excuse  me — in  short,  1  cannot  go  with 
Dr.  Stockmann  upon  this  occasion.  You  can  buy 
even  gold  too  dear ;  that's  my  opinion. 

[Loud  applause  on  all  sides. 

Ho  VST  AD. 

I,  too  feel  bound  to  explain  my  attitude.  Dr. 
Stockmann's  agitation  seemed  at  first  to  find 
favour  in  several  quarters,  and  I  supported  it  as 
impartially  as  I  could.  But  it  presently  appeared 
that  we  had  been  misled  by  a  false  representation 

of  the  facts 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

False ! 


Well    then,  an    untrustworthy  representation. 

126  AN     ENEMY     OK     THE     PEOPLE.        [aCT    IV. 

This  the  Burgomaster's  report  has  proved.  I 
trust  no  one  here  present  doubts  my  libera' 
principles  ;  the  attitude  of  the  Messenger  on  all 
great  political  questions  is  well  known  to  you  all. 
But  I  have  learned  from  men  of  judgment  and 
experience  that  in  purely  local  matters  a  paper 
must  observe  a  certain  amount  of  caution. 



I  entirely  agree  with  the  speaker. 


And  in  the  matter  under  discussion  it  is  quite 
evident  that  Dr.  Stockmann  has  public  opinion 
against  him.  But,  gentlemen,  what  is  an  editor's 
clearest  and  most  imperative  duty  }  Is  it  not  to 
work  in  harmony  with  his  readers  }  Has  he  not 
in  some  sort  received  a  tacit  mandate  to  further 
assiduously  and  unweariedly  the  interests  of  his 
constituents  .''     Or  am  I  mistaken  in  this  } 

Many  Voices. 
No,  no,  no  !     Hovstad  is  right ! 

It  has  cost  me  a  bitter  struggle  to  break  with  a 
man  in  whose  house  I  have  of  late  been  a  frequent 
guest — with  a  man  who,  up  to  this  day,  has  en- 
joyed the  unqualified  goodwill  of  his  fellow 
citizens — with  a  man  whose  only,  or,  at  any  rate, 
whose  chief  fault  is  that  he  consults  his  heart 
rather  than  his  head. 

A  Few  Scattered  Voices. 
That's  true  I     Hurrah  for  Dr.  Stockmann ! 

ACT    IV.]       AN     ENEMY    OF    THE     PEOPLE.  127 


But  my  duty  towards  the  community  has  con- 
strained me  to  break  with  him.  Then,  too,  there 
is  another  consideration  that  impels  me  to  oppose 
him,  and,  if  possible,  to  block  the  ill  omened  path 
upon  which  he  is  entering  :  consideration  for  his 


Dr.  Stockmann. 

Keep  to  the  water-works  and  sewers  I 


consideration  for  his  wife  and  his  unpro- 
tected' children. 

Is  that  us,  mother  ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 


I  will  now  put  the  Burgomaster's  resolution  to 
the  vote. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

You  need  not.  I  have  no  intention  of  saying 
anything  this  evening  of  all  the  filth  at  the  Baths. 
No  I     You  shall  hear  something  quite  different. 

[Half  aloud.]     What  next,,  I  wonder  ? 

A  Drunken  M  vn 
[At  the  main  entrance.]     I'm  a  ratepayer,  so  I've 
a  right  to  my  opinion  !     And  it's  my  full,  firm, 
incomprehensible  opinion  that 

1  Literally,  "  unprovided-for." 

128  AN     ENK.\n      OK     TUK     PEOPLE.        [aCT    IV. 

Several  Voices, 
Silence  up  there  I 

He's  drunk  !     Turn  him  out  ! 

[TIw  drunken  man  is  turned  out. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Can  I  speak  .'' 


[Ringing  the  bell.]     Dr.  Stockmann  will  address 
the  meeting. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
A  few  days  ago,  I  should  have  liked  to  see  any 
one  venture  upon  such  an  attempt  to  gag  me  as 
has  been  made  here  to-night  I  I  would  have 
fought  like  a  lion  for  my  sacred  rights  !  But  now 
I  care  little  enough ;  for  now  I  have  more 
important  things  to  speak  of. 

[T/ie  people  croivd  closer  round  him. 
Morten  Kiil  comes  in  sight  among  the 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Contimiing.]     I  have   been  pondering  a  great 
many  things  during  these  last  days — thinking  such 
a  multitude  of  thoughts,  that  at  last  my  head  was 
positively  in  a  whirl 

[Coughing.]     H'm ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But    presently    things    seemed    to    straighten 
themselves    out,   and    I   saw   them  clearly  in  all 


ACT  IV.]   AN  ENEMY  OF  THE  PEOPLE.      129 

their  bearings.  That  is  why  I  stand  here  this  even- 
ing. I  am  about  to  make  great  revelations,  my 
fellow  citizens  !  I  am  going  to  announce  to  you 
a  far-reaching  discovery,  beside  which  the  trifling 
fact  that  our  water-works  are  poisoned,  and  that 
our  health-resort  is  built  on  pestilential  ground, 
sinks  into  insignificance. 

Many  Voices. 
[Shouting.^     Don't  speak  about  the  Baths  !     We 
won't  listen  to  that  !     No  more  of  that ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  have  said  I  would  speak  of  the  great  discovery 
I  have  made  within  the  last  few  days — the  dis- 
covery that  all  our  sources  of  spiritual  life  are 
poisoned,  and  that  our  whole  society  rests  upon 
a  pestilential  basis  of  falsehood. 

Several  Voices. 
[In  astonishment    and  half  aloud.]      What's    he 
saying  .'' 


Such  an  insinuation ! 


[With  his  hand  on  the  hell.]     I  must  call  upon  the 
speaker  to  moderate  his  expressions. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  have  loved  my  native  town  as  dearly  as  any 
man  can  love  the  home  of  his  childhood.  1  was 
young  when  I  left  our  town,  and  distance,  home- 
sickness and  memory  threw,  as  it  were,  a  glamour 
over  the  place  and  its  people. 

[So7ne  applause  and  cries  of  approval. 

ISO  AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     PF.OIM.K.       [a(  T    IV. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Then  for  years  I  was  imprisoned  in  a  horrible 
hole,  far  away  in  the  north.  As  I  went  about 
amonjT  the  people  scattered  here  and  there  over 
the  stony  wilderness,  it  seemed  to  me,  many  a 
time,  that  it  would  have  been  better  for  these 
jwor  famisiiiiif^  creatures  to  have  had  a  cattle-doctor 
to  attend  them,  instead  of  a  man  like  me. 

^^Mitnuiirs  ill  the  room. 

^Laying  down  his  pen.^     Strike  me  dead  if  I've 
ever  heard ! 


What  an  insult  to  an  estimable  peasantry  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Wait  a  moment ! — I  don't  think  any  one  can 
reproach  me  with  forgetting  my  native   town  up 
there.      I   sat  brooding  like    an    eider  duck    and 
what  I  hatched  was — the  plan  of  the  Baths. 

[.Ipplaiise  and  expressions  of  dissent. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  when,  at  last,  fate  ordered  things  so  happily 
that  I  could  come  home  again — then,  fellow 
citizens,  it  seemed  to  me  that  I  hadn't  another 
desire  in  the  world.  Yes.  one  desire  I  had  :  an 
eager,  constant,  burning  desire  to  be  of  service  to 
my  birthplace,  and  to  its  people. 


[Gacing    into    mcanct/.]     A   strange    method   to 

select i 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
So  I  went  about  revelling  in  my  happy  illusions. 

ACT    IV.]       AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  1.31 

But  yesterday  morning — no,  it  was  really  two 
nights  ago — my  mind's  eyes  were  opened  wide, 
and  the  first  thing  I  saw  was  the  colossal  stupidity 

of  the  authorities 

[Noise,  dies,  and  laughter.     Mrs.  Stock- 
MANN  coughs  repeatedly. 

Mr.  Chairman  ! 


[Ringing  his  bell.]  In  virtue  of  my  position — '■ —  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
It's  petty  to  catch  me  up  on  a  word,  Mr. 
Aslaksen  !  I  only  mean  that  I  became  alive  to 
the  extraordinary  muddle  our  leading  men  had 
been  guilty  of,  down  at  the  Baths.  I  cannot  for 
the  life  of  me  abide  leading  men — I've  seen  enough 
of  them  in  my  time.  They  are  like  goats  in  a 
young  plantation  :  they  do  harm  at  every  point ; 
they  block  the  path  of  a  free  man  wherever  he 
turns — and  I  should  be  glad  if  we  could  exter- 
minate them  like  other  noxious  animals 

[Uproar  in  the  room. 

Mr.  Chairman,  are  such  expressions  permissible  } 

[  With  his  hand  on  the  bell.]    Dr.  Stockmann 

Dr.  Stockmann 
I  can't  conceive  how  it  is  that  I  ha^'e  only  now 
seen  through  these  gentry  ;  for   haven't   I    had  a 
magnificent  example  before  my  eyes  here  every 

1.32  AN     ENEMY    OF     THE    PEOPLE.       [aCT    IV. 

(lay — my  brother   Peter — slow  of  understanding, 

tenacious  in  jirejudice 

[L(iiighter,,and  whistling.   Miis.  Stock- 
MANN  coughs.     AsLAKSEN  rings  violently. 

The  Drunken  Man. 
\^lVhohas  come  in  again.]     Is  it  me  you're  allud- 
inijto.'*     Sure  enough,  my  name's   Petersen;  but 
devil  take  me  if 

Angry  Voices. 
Out  with  that  drunken  man!     Turn  him  out ! 
[  The  man  is  again  turned  out. 

Who  is  that  person  ? 

A  Bystander. 
I  don't  know  him,  Burgomaster. 

He  doesn't  belong  to  the  town. 

A  Third. 
I  believe  he's  a  timber-dealer  from 

\^rhe  rest  is  inaudible. 

The    man    was    evidently    intoxicated. — Con- 
tinue, Dr.  Stockmann ;  but  pray  endeavour  to  be 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Well,  fellow  citizens,  I  shall  say  no  more  about 
our  lcadin<r  men.  If  any  one  imagines,  from  what 
I  have  just  said,  that  it's  these  gentlemen  I  want 
to  make  short  work  of  to-night,  he  is  mistaken — 
altogether  mistaken.   For  I  cherish  the  comfortable 

ACT    IV.]       AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE,  133 

conviction  that  these  laggards^  these  relics  of  a 
decaying  ordei"  of  thought,  are  dihgently  cutting 
their  own  throats.  They  need  no  doctor  to  hasten 
their  end.  And  it  is  not  people  of  that  sort  that 
constitute  the  real  danger  to  society ;  it  is  not  they 
who  are  most  active  in  poisoning  the  sources  of 
our  spiritual  life  and  making  a  plague-spot  of  the 
ground  beneath  our  feet ;  it  is  not  they  who  are 
the  most  dangerous  enemies  of  truth  and  freedom 
in  our  society. 

Cries  from  All  Sides. 
Who,  then  ?     Who  is  it .''     Name,  name  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  you  may  be  sure  I  shall  name  them  !  For 
this  is  the  great  discovery  I  made  yesterday  : 
[In  a  louder  tone.]  The  most  dangerous  foe  to 
truth  and  freedom  in  our  midst  is  the  compact 
majority.  Yes,  it's  the  confounded,  compact,liberal 
majority — that,  and  nothing  else !  There,  I've 
told  you. 

[Immense  disturbance  in  the  room.  Most  of 
the  audience  are  shouting,  stamping,  and 
whistling.  Several  elderly  gentlemen  ex- 
change furtive  glances  and  seem  to  be 
enjoying  the  scene.  Mrs.  Stockmann 
rises  i?i  alarm.  Eilif  a?id  Morten  ad- 
vance threateningly  towards  the  school- 
boys, who  are  making  noises.  Aslaksen 
rings  the  bell  and  calls  for  order.  Hov- 
stad  and  Billing  both  speak,  but  nothing 
can  be  heard.     At  last  quiet  is  restored. 

I  must  request   the   speaker  to  withdraw  his 
ill-considered  expressions. 

l.;4  AN     KNKMV    OK    TIIK     PKOPLK.       [a(T    IV. 

!)».  SrofKMANN, 

Never,  Mr.  Aslaksen  I  For  it's  this  very  majority 
tliat  robs  me  of  my  freedom,  and  wants  to  forbid 
nie  to  speak  the  truth. 


The  majority  always  has  right  on  its  side. 

YeSj  and  truth  too,  strike  me  dead  ' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
The  majority  never  has  right  on  its  side.  Never 
I  say  !  'liiat  is  one  of  the  social  lies  that  a  free, 
thinking  man  is  bound  to  rebel  against.  Who 
make  up  the  majority  in  any  given  country  ?  Is 
it  the  wise  men  or  the  fools  ?  I  think  we  must 
agree  that  the  fools  are  in  a  terrible,  overwhelming 
majority,  all  the  wide  world  over.  But  how  in  the 
devil's  name  can  it  ever  be  right  for  the  fools  to 
rule  over  the  wise  men  '1  ^Uproar  and  yells. 

Dr.  SxorKMANN. 

Yes,  yes,  you  can  shout  me  down,  but  you  cannot 

gainsay  me.    The  majority  has  might  -  unhappily 

—  but  right  it  has  not.      It  is  I.  and  the  few,  the 

individuals,  that  are  in  the  right.      The  minority 

i'^  always  right.  [lioieiied  uproar. 


Ha  ha  !  Dr.  Stockmann  has  turned  aristocrat 
since  the  day  before  yesterday  I 

I)h.  Stockmann. 
I  have  said   that  I    have   no  words  to  waste  on 
the  little,  narrow-chested,  short-winded  crew  that 
lie  in  our  wake.      Pulsating  life  has  nothing  more 


ACT  IV.]   AN  ENEMY  OF  THE  PEOPLE.       135 

to  do  with  them.  I  am  speaking  of  the  few,  the 
individuals  among  us,  who  have  made  all  the  new, 
germinating  truths  their  own.  These  men  stand, 
as  it  were,  at  the  outposts,  so  far  in  the  van  that 
the  compact  majority  has  not  yet  reached  them — 
and  there  they  fight  for  truths  that  are  too  lately 
born  into  the  world's  consciousness  to  have  won 
over  the  majority. 


So  the  Doctor's  a  revolutionist  now  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  by  Heaven,  I  am,  Mr.  Hovstad  !  I  am 
going  to  revolt  against  the  lie  that  truth  belongs 
exclusively  to  the  majority.  What  sort  of  truths 
do  the  majority  rally  round  ?  Truths  so  stricken 
in  years  that  they  are  sinking  into  decrepitude 
When  a  truth  is  so  old  as  that,  gentlemen,  it's  in 
a  fair  way  to  become  a  lie.         [Laughter  and  jeers. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  yes,  you  may  believe  me  or  not,  as  you 
please ;  but  truths  are  by  no  means  the  wiry 
Methusalehs  some  people  think  them.  A  nor- 
mally-constituted truth  lives — let  us  say — as  a 
rule,  seventeen  or  eighteen  years  ;  at  the  outside 
twenty ;  very  seldom  more.  And  truths  so 
patriarchal  as  that  are  always  shockingly 
emaciated  ;  yet  it's  not  till  then  that  the 
majority  takes  them  up  and  recommends  them 
to  society  as  wholesome  food.  I  can  assure  you 
there's  not  much  nutriment  in  that  sort  of  fare  ; 
you  may  take  my  word  as  a  doctor  for  that.  All 
these  majority-truths  are  like  last  year's  salt  pork  ; 
they're  like  rancid,  mouldy  ham,  producing  all  the 
moral  scurvy  that  devastates  society. 

]36  AN    k\i:m\    or    tiik   i'koim.k.     [act  iv. 


It  seems  to  nu-  tliat  the  honourable  speaker  is 
wandering  rather  far  from  the  subject. 


I  beg  to  endorse  the  Chairman's  remark. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why  you're  surely  mad,  Peter!  I'm  keeping  as 
closely  to  my  text  as  I  possibly  can  ;  for  my  text 
is  precisely  this — that  the  masses,  the  majority, 
this  devil's  own  compact  majority — it's  that,  I  say, 
tiiat's  poisoning  the  sources  of  our  spiritual  life, 
and  making  a  plague-spot  of  the  ground  beneath 
our  feet. 


And  you  make  this  charge  against  the  great, 
independent  majority,  just  because  they  have  the 
sense  to  accept  only  certain  and  acknowledged 
truths  ? 

Dii.  Stockmann. 

Ah,  my  dear  Mr.  Hovstad,  don't  talk  about 
certain  truths  !  The  truths  acknowledged  by  the 
masses,  the  multitude,  were  certain  truths  to  the 
vanguard  in  our  grandfathers'  days.  We,  the 
vanguard  of  to-day,  don't  acknowledge  them  any 
longer;  and  I  don't  believe  there  exists  any  other 
certani  truth  but  this — that  no  society  can  live  a 
healthy  life  upon  truths  so  old  and  and  marrowless. 

But  instead  of  all  this  vague  talk,  suppose  you 
were   to   give  us  some   specimens    of  these    old 
marrowless  truths  that  we  are  living  upon. 

[Approval  J'ro)/i  several  quarters. 

act  iv.]     an   enemy  of  the  people.  1 s7 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  I  could  give  you  no  end  of  samples  from 
the  rubbish-heap  ;  but,  for  the  present,  I  shall 
keep  to  one  acknowledged  truth,  which  is  a 
hideous  lie  at  bottom,  but  which  Mr.  Hovstad,  and 
the  Messenger,  and  all  adherents  of  the  Messenger, 
live  on  all  the  same. 

And  that  is ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
That  is  the  doctrine  you  have  inherited  from 
your  forefathers,  and  go  on  thoughtlessly  pro- 
claiming far  and  wide — the  doctrine  that  the 
multitude,  the  vulgar  herd,  the  masses,  are  the 
pith  of  the  people — that  they  are  the  people — 
that  the  common  man,  the  ignorant,  undeveloped 
member  of  society,  has  the  same  right  to  sanction 
and  to  condemn,  to  counsel  and  to  govern,  as  the 
intellectually  distinguished  few. 

Well,  now,  strike  me  dead ! 

\Shouting  at  the  same  timeJ\     Citizens,  please  note 

Angry  Voices. 

Ho-ho  !    Aren't  we  the  people  .^    Is  it  only  the 
grand  folks  that  are  to  govern  .'' 

A  Working  Man. 
Out  with  the  fellow  that  talks  like  that ! 

Turn  him  out ! 

l;)8  AN     KNKMN      or    TIIK     I'KOI'I.K.        [a( 

A  Citizen. 

[Shouting.]      IMow  your  horn,  Rvensen. 

[The  (h'('f)  notes  of'  a  horn  arc  heard  ;  irhixt  ■ 
ling,  and  terri/ic  noise  in  the  room. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[When  the  has  .somewhat  subsided  ]  Now  do 
be  reasonaljle  I  Can't  you  bear  tven  lor  once  in 
a  way  to  hear  the  voice  of  truth  ?  I  don't  ask  you 
all  to  agree  witli  me  on  the  instant.  But  I  certainly 
should  have  expected  Mr.  Hovstad  to  back  me  up, 
as  soon  as  he  had  collected  himself  a  bit.  Mr. 
Hovstad  sets  up  to  be  a  freethinker 

Seveual  Voices. 
[Subdued  and   ?rondering.]     Freethinker,   did    he 
say  ?     What  ?     Mr.  Hovstad  a  freethinker  ? 

[Shoiding.]     Prove  it,   Dr.  Stockmann.      When 
have  I  said  so  in  j)rint .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Reflecting.]  No,  upon  mysoul,  vou're  ri<iht  there; 
you've  never  had  the  frankness  to  do  that.  \\  ell, 
well,  I  won't  put  you  on  the  rack,  Mr.  Hovstad. 
Let  me  be  the  freethinker  then.  And  now  I'll 
make  it  clear  to  you  all,  and  on  scientific  grounds 
too,  that  the  Messenger  is  leading  you  shamefully 
by  the  nose,  when  it  tells  you  that  you,  the  masses, 
the  crowd,  are  the  true  pith  of  the  people.  I  tell 
you  that's  only  a  news])aper  lie.  'ilie  masses  are 
nothing  butthe  raw  material  that  must  he  fashioned 
into  a  People. 

[Murmurs,   laughter,  and  disturbance  in  the 

act  iv.]     an   enemy   of  the   i'eople.  139 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Is  it  not  so  with  all  other  living  creatures  .''  What 
a  difference  between  a  cultivated  and  an  uncul- 
tivated breed  of  animals  !  Just  look  at  a  common 
barn-door  hen.  What  meat  do  you  get  from  such 
a  skinny  carcase  ?  Not  much,  I  can  tell  you  !  And 
what  sort  of  eggs  does  she  lay  ?  A  decent  crow 
or  raven  can  lay  nearly  as  good.  Then  take  a  cul- 
tivated Spanish  or  Japanese  hen,  or  take  a  fine 
pheasant  or  turkey — ah  !  then  you'll  see  the  differ- 
ence !  And  now  look  at  the  dog,  our  near  rela- 
tion. Think  first  of  an  ordinary  vulgar  cur — I 
mean  one  of  those  wretched,  ragged,  j)lebeian 
mongrels  that  haunt  the  gutters,  and  soil  the  side- 
walks. Then  place  such  a  mongrel  by  the  side  of 
a  poodle-dog,  descended  through  many  generations 
from  an  aristocratic  stock,  who  have  lived  on  deli- 
cate food,  and  heard  harmonious  voices  and  music. 
Do  you  think  the  brain  of  the  })oo(lle  isn't  very 
differently  developed  from  that  of  the  mongrel  ? 
Yes,  you  may  be  sure  it  is  !  It's  well-bred  poodle- 
pups  like  this  that  jugglers  train  to  perform  the 
most  marvellous  tricks.  A  common  peasant-cur 
could  never  learn  anything  of  the  sort — not  if  he 
tried  till  doomsday. 

[^Noise  and  laughter  are  heard  all  round. 

A  Citizen. 
[Skouti?ig.^  Do  you  want  to  make  dogs  of  us  now? 

Another  M.\n. 
W^e're  not  animals.  Doctor  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  on  my  soul,  but  we  are  animals,  my  good 
sir  !     We're  one  and  all  of  us  animals,  whether  we 

I  l()  AN     KNK.MN     «)r    TIIK    I'KoiM.K.       f\(T    IV. 

like  it  or  not.  Hut  truly  there  are  few  enough 
aristoeratio  animals  anionjr  us.  Oh,  there's  a  terrible 
difference  between  poodle-men  and  mongrel-men  I 
And  the  ridiculous  part  of"  it  is,  that  Mr.  Hovstad 
quite  agrees  with  me  so  long  as  it's  lour-legged 
animals  we're  talking  of 

Oh,  beasts  are  only  beasts. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well  and  good — but  no  sooner  do  1  apply  the 
law  to  two-legged  animals,  than  Mr.  Hovstad  stops 
short;  then  he  daren't  hold  his  own  opinions,  or 
think  out  his  own  thoughts  ;  then  he  turns  the 
whole  principle  upside  down,  and  proclaims  in  the 
People's  Messenger  that  the  barn-door  hen  and  the 
gutter  mongrel  are  precisely  the  finest  specimens 
in  the  menagerie.  But  that's  always  the  way,  so 
long  as  the  commonness  still  lingers  in  your 
system,  and  you  haven't  worked  your  way  up  to 
spiritual  distinction. 

I  make  no  pretence  to  any  sort  of  distinction.   I 
come  of  simple  peasant  folk,  and  I  am  proud  that 
my  root  should  lie  deep  down  among  the  common 
people,  who  are  here  being  insulted. 

Hurrah  for  Hovstad.      Hurrah  !  hurrah  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
The  sort  of  common  people  I  am  speaking  of  are 
not  found  among   the   lower  classes  alone;  they 
crawl  and   swarm  all  around  us — up  to  the  very 

ACT  IV.]   AN  ENEMY  OF  THE  PEOPLE.       141 

summits  of  society.  .lust  look  at  your  own  smug, 
respectable  Burgomastei* !  Why,  my  brother  Peter 
belongs  as  clearly  to  the  common  people  as  any 

man  that  walks  on  two  legs 

[Laughter  and  hisses. 

I  protest  against  such  personalities. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[Imperturbably.]     and  that  not  because,  like 

myself,  he's  descended  from  a  good-for-nothing  old 
pirate  from  Pomerania,  or  thereabouts — for  that's 
our  ancestry 

An  absurd  tradition  !     Utterly  groundless. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
-but  he  is  so  because  he  thinks  the  thoughts 

and  holds  the  opinions  of  his  official  superiors.  Men 
who  do  that,  belong,  intellectually-speaking,  to 
the  common  people ;  and  that  is  why  my  dis- 
tinguished brother  Peter  is  at  bottom  so  undis- 
tinguished,— and  consequently  so  illiberal. 

Mr.  Chairman I 


So  that  the  distinguished  people  in  this  country 
are  the  Liberals  ?  That's  quite  a  new  light  on  the 
subject.  [Laughter. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Yes,  that  is  part  of  my  new  discovery.  And 
this,    too,   follows  :  that    liberality  of  thought  is 

142  AN    ENEMY    OK    THE    I'EOPLE.       [aCT    IV. 

almost  preciselythe  same  thing  as  morality.  There- 
fore I  say  it's  absolutely  unpardonable  of  the  Mes- 
sejiger  to  proclaim,  day  out,  day  in,  the  false  doctrine 
that  it's  the  masses,  the  multitude,  the  comj)act 
majority,  that  monopolise  liberality  and  morality, 
— and  that  vice  and  corruption  and  all  sorts  of 
spiritual  uncleanness  ooze  out  of  culture,  as  all 
that  filth  oozes  down  to  the  Baths  from  the  Mill 
Dale  tan-works  !  [Noise  and  interruptions. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Goes  on  iinperturhahly ,  sniiling  in  his  eagerness.^ 
And  yet  this  same  Messenger  can  preach  about 
elevating  the  masses  and  the  multitude  to  a  higher 
level  of  well-being !  Why,  deuce  take  it,  if  the 
Messenger's  own  doctrine  holds  good,  the  elevation 
of  the  masses  would  simply  mean  hurling  them 
straight  to  perdition  I  But,  happily,  the  notion 
that  culture  demoralises  is  nothing  but  an  old  tra- 
ditional lie.  No  it's  stupidity,  poverty,  the  ugliness 
of  life,  that  do  the  devils  work  !  In  a  house  that 
isn't  aired  and  swept  every  day — my  wife  main- 
tains that  the  floors  ought  to  be  scrubbed  too,  but 
perhaps  that  is  going  too  far  ; — well, — in  such  a 
house,  I  say,  within  two  or  three  years,  j)eople  lose 
the  power  of  thinking  or  acting  morally.  Lack  of 
oxygen  enervates  the  conscience.  And  there 
seems  to  be  precious  little  oxygen  in  many  and 
many  a  house  in  this  town,  since  the  whole  com- 
pact majority  is  unscrupulous  enough  to  want  to 
found  its  future  upon  a  quagmire  of  lies  and  fraud. 


I  cannot  allow  so  gross  an  insult  to  be  levelled 
against  a  whole  community. 

ACT  IV.]   AN  ENEMY  OF  THE  PEOPLE.       143 

A  Gentleman. 
I  move  that  the  Chairman  order  the  speaker  to 
sit  down. 

Eager  Voices. 
Yes,  yes  I    That's  right !    Sit  down  !    Sit  down  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Flaring  ?//?.]     Then  I  shall  proclaim  the  truth  at 
every    street     corner  I     I    shall    write    to    news- 
papers in  other  towns  !     The  whole  country  shall 
know  how  matters  stand  here  ! 

It  almost  seems  as  if  the  Doctor's  object  were  to 
ruin  the  town. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  so  well  do   I   love   my  native  town   that  I 
would  rather  ruin  it  than  see  it  flourishing  upon  a 

That's  plain  speaking. 

[  and  whistling.  Mrs.  Stockmann 
coughs  in  vain ;  the  Doctor  no  longer 
heeds  her. 

[Shouting  amid  the  tumult.^     The  man  who  would 
ruin  a  whole  community  must  be  an  enemy  to  his 
fellow  citizens  ! 

Dr.   Stockman   . 
[With  growing  excitement.^  What  does  it  matter  if 
a  lying  community  is  ruined  !  Let  it  be  levelled  to 
the  ground,  say  I  '     All  men  who  live   upon  a  lie 

1  J-l-  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOl'LK.       [aCT    IV. 

ou<rht  to  be  exterminated  like  vermin  I  You'll  end 
by  poisoning  the  whole  countrv  ;  you'll  brinfritto 
such  a  pass  that  the  whole  country  will  deserve  to 
perish.  And  if  ever  it  comes  to  that,  I  shall  say, 
from  the  bottom  of  my  heart :  Perish  the  country  ! 
Perish  all  its  people  ! 

A  Man. 
[In  the  crowd. '\  Why,  he  talks  like  a  regular  enemy 
of  the  people  ! 


Strike  rae  dead  but  there  spoke  the  people's 
voice ! 

The  Whole  Assembly. 

[Shouting.^  Yes  !  yes  !  yes  !  He's  an  enemy  of 
the  people!  He  hates  his  country!  He  hates 
the  whole  people  ! 

Both  as  a  citizen  of  this  town  and  as  a  human 
being,  I  am  deeply  shocked  at  what  it  has  been  my 
lot  to  hear  to-night.  Dr.  Stockman  has  unmasked 
himself  in  a  maimer  I  siiould  never  have  dreamt 
of.  I  must  reluctantly  subscribe  to  the  opinion 
'  just  expressed  by  some  estimable  citizens;  and  I 
think  we  ought  to  formulate  tliis  opinion  in  a  reso- 
lution. I  therefore  beg  to  move,  "That  this  meet- 
ing declares  the  medical  officer  of  the  Baths,  Dr. 
Thomas  Stockmann,  to  be  an  enemy  of  the  people." 
[Thunders  of  applause  and  cheers.  Many 
form  a  circle  round  the  Doctor  and  hoot 
at  him.  Mrs.  Stockmann  aiid  Petra 
have  risen.  Morten  and  Vaiav  Jight  the 
other  .school-boys,  who  have  also  heen  hoot- 
ing. Some  grown-up  persons  separate 

act  iv.]  an  enemy  of  the  people.     145 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[To    the  people   hootingi]     Ah,    fools    that  you 
are  !     I  tell  you  that 


[Ringing.^  The  Doctor  is  out  of  order  in  speak- 
ing. A  formal  vote  must  be  taken  ;  but  out  of 
consideration  for  personal  feelings,  it  will  be  taken 
in  writing  and  without  names.  Have  you  any 
blank  paper,  Mr.  Billing  .? 

Here's  both  blue  and  white  paper 


Capital;  that  will  save  time.  Cut  it  up  into 
slips.  That's  it.  \To  the  ?neeting.]  Blue  means 
no,  white  means  aye.  I  myself  will  go  round  and 
collect  the  votes. 

[^The  Burgomaster  leaves  the  room.  Aslak- 
SEN  and  a  few  others  go  7-oiind  with  pieces 
of  paper  in  hats. 

A  Gentleman. 
\To  HovsTAD.]     What  can   be  the  matter  with 
the  Doctor  }     What  does  it  all  mean  } 

Why.  you   know  what  a  hare-brained   creature 
he  is. 

Another  Gentleman. 
\To  Billing.]     I  say,  you're  often  at  his  house. 
Have  you  evernoticed  if  the  fellow  drinks.'' 

Strike  me  dead  if  I  know  what  to  say.     The 

146  AN     KNF.MV    OK    TIIK     I'KOl'LE.       [.\(T    IV. 

toddy's  alwaj's  on   the  tabic  when  any  one    looks 

A  TniHn  (iknti.kman. 
No,  I  should  rather  say  he  went  oH'  his  head  at 


I  wonder  if  there's  madness  in  the  family  ? 

I  shouldn't  be  surprised. 

A   FouHTn  (tkntleman. 
No,  it's  pure  malice.     He  wants  to  be  revenged 
for  some'.hin<:;  or  other. 

He  was   certainly  talkint^  about  a   rise  in    ms 
salary  the  other  day  ;   but  he  dichi't  '^et  it. 

All  the  Gentlemen. 
[Togctficr.^     Aha  I     That  explains    everything. 

The   Drunken   Man. 
\ hi  the  (Vowy/.]      I  want  a  blue  one,  I  do  !      And 
I'll  have  a  white  one  too. 

Several  People 
There's  the  tipsy  man  again  !     Turn  him  out. 

Morten   Kiil. 
[Approoc/ihif!  the   Doctor.]       Well,  Stockmann, 
you  see  now  wliat  such  inonkcx  tricks  lead  to  .^ 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
I  have  d(jne  my  duty. 


ACT    IV.]       AN     ENEMY     OK     THE     PEOPLE.  14? 

Morten  Kiil. 
What  was  that  you   said   about  the   Mill  Dale 
tanneries  ? 

Dr    Stockmann. 
You  heard  what  I  said  — that  all  the  filth  comes 
from  them. 

Morten  Kiil. 
From  my  tannery  as  well .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I'm  sorry  to  say  yours  is  the  worst  of  all. 

Morten   Kiil. 
Are  you  going  to  put  that  in  the  papers,  too? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  can't  gloze  anything  over. 

Morten  Kiil. 
This  may  cost  you  dear,  Stockmann  ! 

[He  goes  out. 
A  Fat  Gentleman. 
[Goes  up  to  Horster,  n'ithout  honnng  to  the  ladies.^ 
Well,  Captain,  so  you  lend  your  house  to  enemies 
of  the  people. 

I  suppose  I  can  do  as   I  please  with  my  own 
property.  Sir. 

The  Gentleman. 
Then  of  course  you  can  have  no  objection  if  I 
follow  your  example  ? 

What  do  you  mean,  Sir  ? 

148  AN     ENEMY    OK    THE     PEOPLE.       [aCT    IV. 

The  Gentleman. 
You  shall  hear  from  me  to-morrow. 

[  Turns  (iiraxi  and  goes  out. 

Wasn't  that  the   owner  of  your  ship.  Captain 
Horster  .^ 


Yes,  that  was  Mr.  Yik. 

[  fVith   the  voting  papers  in  his  hands,  ascends  the 
platform  and  rings.^     (jentlemen  I      I  have  now  to 
announce  the  result  of  the  vote.      All  the  voters, 
with  one  exception 

A  Young  Gentleman. 
That's  the  tipsy  man  ! 

With  the  exception  of  one  intoxicated  person, 
this  meeting  of  citizens  unanimously  declares  the 
medical  officer  of  the  Baths,  Dr.  Thomas  Stock- 
mann,  to  be  an  enemy  of  the  people.  [C7/ecr.v  and 
applause.^  Three  cheers  for  our  fine  old  munici- 
pality !  \Checrs.'\  Three  cheers  for  our  able  and 
energetic  Burgomaster,  who  has  so  loyally  set 
family  prejudice  aside  !  \(!heers.\  The  meeting 
is  dissolved.     \He  descends.^ 


Three  cheers  for  the  Chairman  ! 

Hurrah  lor  Aslaksen 

act  iv.]     an   enemy  ok  the  people.  119 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
My  hat  and    coat,    Petra.     Captain,  have  you 
room  for  passengers  to  the  new  world  ? 


For  you  and  yours.  Doctor,  we'll  make  room. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[fVhile  Petka  helps  him  to  put  on  his  coat.'\  Good 
Come  Katrina,  come  boys  ! 

[i/e  gives  his  wife  his  arm. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[In  a  low  voice.']     Thomas,  dear,  let  us  go  out  by 
the  back  way. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
No  back  ways,  Katrina  .  [In  a  loud  voice.']  You 
shall  hear  from  the  enemy  of  the  people,  before 
he  shakes  the  dust  from  his  feet  !  I  am  not  so 
forbearing  as  a  certain  person  ;  I  don't  say  :  I 
forgive  you,  for  you  know  not  what  you  do. 


[Shouts.]     That   is  a  blasphemous   comparison. 
Dr.  Stockmann ! 


Strike  me !  This  is  more  than  a  serious  man 

can  stand ! 

A  Coarse  Voice. 
And  he  threatens  us  into  the  bargain  ! 

Angry  Cries. 
Let's  smash  his  windows!     Duck  him  in  the 
fiord ! 

150  AN     KNKMV     OK    TIIK     I'KOI'LK.       [aiT    IV. 

A  Man. 

[In  the  crowd.']   Blow  your  horn,  Evensen  .'  Blow 
man,  blow  ! 

[Horn  hl()ii'i)ig,  ivhi.stliiig,  and  iri/d  ahoutitig. 
The  Doctor,  with  his  farni/y,  goes 
towards  the  door.  Horsteh  clears  the 
way  for  them. 

[  Yelling  after  them  as  they  go  out.]     Enemy  of  the 
j)eople  !     Enemy  of  the   people  !     Enemy  of  the 
people ! 

Strike  me  dead   if   I'd  care  to  drink  toddy  at 
Stockmann's  to-niglit  ! 

[The  people  throng  towards  the  door;  the 
shouting  is  taken  up  by  others  outside; 
from  the  street  are  heard  cries  of  "  Enemy 
of  the  people  1  Enemy  of  the  peojile  !  " 



Dr.  Stockmann's  Studt/.  Bookshelves  and  glass 
cases  w'dli  various  colledioiis  along  the  walls.  In 
the  back,  a  door  leading  to  the  hall ;  in  front,  on 
the  left,  a  door  to  the  sitting-room.  In  the  wall 
to  the  right  are  two  windows,  all  the  panes  of 
which  are  smashed.  In  the  middle  of  the  room 
is  the  Doctor's  writing-table,  covered  with  books 
and  papers.  The  room  is  in  disorder.  It  is 

Dr.  Stockmann,  in  dressing-gown,  slippers,  and 
skull  cap,  is  bending  down  and  raking  with  an 
umbrella  under  one  of  the  cabinets ;  at  last  he 
rakes  out  a  stone. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Speaking     through      the    sittijig-room     doorway.  \ 
Katrina,  I've  found  another  ! 

Mrs.  hTorKMANN. 

[In  the  sitting  rootn.]  Oh,  Tm  sure  you'll  find 
plenty  more. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[Placing  the  stone  on  a  pile  of  others  oti  the  fable.^ 
I  shall  keep  these  stones  as  sacred  relics.  Eilif 
and  Morten  shall  see  them  every  day.  and  when  I 
die  they  shall  be  heirlooms.  [Raking  under  the^  Hasn't-  what  the  devil  is  her  name  ? — 
the  girl — hadn't  she  been  for  the  glazier  yet  ? 

152  AN   ENE\n    (»K    Tin;   i'Khi'i.k.      [act  v. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Coming    in.]      Yes,   but    he    said    he    didn't 
know  whether  he  would  be  able  to  come  to-day. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  believe,  if  the  truth  were  told,  he  daren't 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Well,  Randina,  too,  had  an  idea  he  was  afraid 
to  come,  because  of  the  neighbours.  [Speaks  through 
the  sitlitig-room  doorway.]  What  is  it,  Randina? — 
Very  well.  [Goes  out,  and  returns  immediately.] 
Here  is  a  letter  for  you,  Thomas. 

Dr    Stockmann. 
Let  me  see.     [Opens  the  letter  and  rearf.v.]    Aha  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Who  is  it  from  .' 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
From  the  landlord.     He  gives  us  notice. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Is  it  possible .''     He  is  such  a  nice  man 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Looking  at  the  letter.]  He  daren't  do  otherwise, 
he  says.  He  is  very  unwilling  to  do  it;  but  he 
daren't  do  otherwise — on  account  of  his  fellow 
citizens — out  of  respect  for  public  opinion  — is  in 
a  dependent  position — doesn't  dare  to  offend 
certain  influential  men 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
There,  you  see,  Thomas. 

act  v.]   an  enemy  of  the  people.     153 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  yes,  I  see  well  enough ;  they  are  all 
cowards,  every  one  of  them,  in  this  town  ;  no  one 
dares  do  anything  for  fear  of  all  the  rest.  [Throws 
the  letter  on  the  table.']  But  it's  all  the  same  to  us, 
Katrina,  We  will  shape  our  course  for  the  new 
world,  and  then 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
But  are  you  sure  this  idea  of  going  abroad  is 
altogether  wise,  Thomas  } 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
Would  you  have  me  stay  here,  where  they  have 
pilloried  me  as  an  enemy  of  the  people,  branded 
me,  smashed  my  windows !   And  look  here,  Katrina, 
they've  torn  a  hole  in  my  black  trousers,  too. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Oh  dear ;  and  these  are  the  best  you  have  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
A  man  should  never  put  on  his  best  trousers 
when  he  goes  out  to  battle  for  freedom  and  truth. 
Well,  I  don't  care  so  much  about  the  trousers  ; 
them  you  can  always  patch  up  for  me.  But  that 
the  mob,  the  rabble,  should  dare  to  attack  me  as 
if  they  were  my  equals — that  is  what  I  can't,  for 
the  life  of  me,  stomach  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,   they  have    behaved    abominably    to    you 
here,  "Thomas;   but  is  that  any  reason  for  leaving 
the  country  altogether .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Do  you  think  the  plebeians  aren't  j  ust  as  insolent 

16i  AN     KNKMN      (»K     T 1 1  K     I'KOI'LK.         [a(T    V. 

in  other  towns  ?  Oh  yes,  Ihty  are,  my  clear ;  it's 
six  of  one  and  half  a  dozen  of  the  other.  Well, 
never  mind;  let  the  ears  yelp;  that's  not  the 
worst ;  the  worst  is  that  every  one,  all  over  the 
country,  is  the  slave  of  his  party.  Not  that  I 
suppose — very  likely  it's  no  better  in  the  free 
West  either ;  the  compact  majority,  and  en- 
lightened public  opinion,  and  all  the  other  devil's 
trash  is  ramj)ant  there  too.  But  you  see  the  con- 
ditions are  larger  there  than  here  ;  they  may  kill 
you,  but  they  don't  slow-torture  you  ;  they  don't 
screw  up  a  free  soul  in  a  vice,  as  they  do  at  home 
here.  And  then,  if  need  be,  you  can  keep  out  of 
it  all.  [JValk.s  up  and  down.]  If  I  only  knew  of 
any  primeval  forest,  or  a  little  South  Sea  island 
to  be  sold  cheap 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  but  the  boys,  Thomas. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

[^Comes  to  a  standstill.]  What  an  extraordinary 
woman  you  are,  Katrina  !  Would  you  rather  have 
the  boys  grow  up  in  such  a  society  as  ours  .''  Why, 
you  could  see  for  yourself  yesterday  evening  that 
one  half  of  the  population  is  stark  mad,  and  if 
the  other  half  hasn't  lost  its  wits,  that's  only 
because  they  are  brute  beasts  who  haven't  any  wits 
to  lose. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

But  really,  my  dear  Thomas,  you  do  say  such 
imprudent  things. 

Du.  Stockmann. 
What  :     Isn't  it  the   truth    that    I   tell    them  > 
Don't   they   turn   all   ideas  upside  down  ?     Don't 

ACT    v.]        AN     ENKMV     OK     Tilt:     I'KOI'LK.  1.55 

they  stir  up  right  and  wrong  into  one  hotch-potch  ? 
Don't  they  call  lies  everything  that  I  know  to  be 
the  truth  ?  But  the  maddest  thing  of  all  is  to 
see  crowds  of  grown  men,  calling  themselves 
Liberals,  go  about  persuading  themselves  and 
others  that  they  are  friends  of  freedom  !  Did 
you  ever  hear  anything  like  it,  Katrina  ? 

Mrs,  Stockmann. 
Yes,   yes,  no   doubt.     But 

Petra  enters  from  the  sitting-room. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Back  from  scliool  already  ? 

Yes  ;  I  have  been  dismissed. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Dismissed  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You  too ! 

Mrs.  Busk  gave  me  notice,  and  so  I  thought  it 
best  to  leave  there  and  then. 

Dr.   Stockmann. 
You  did  perfectly  right ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Who  could  have  thought  Mrs.  Busk  was  such  a 
bad  woman ! 

Oh  mother,  Mrs.  Busk  isn't  bad  at  all  ;  I  saw 
clearly  how  sorry  she  was.     But  she  dared  not  do 
otherwise,  she  said  ;  and  so  I  am  dismissed. 

156  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.        [acT    V. 

Dr.    STOrKM.\NN. 

[Laughing  and  rubbing  his  hands.]  She  dared 
not  do  otherwise — ^just  like  the  rest !  Oh,  it's 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

Oh  well,  after  that  frightful  scene  last  night 

It    wasn't   only   that.     What    do    you    think, 

father .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well  ? 

Mrs.  Busk  showed   me   no  fewer   than   three 
letters  she  had  received  this  morning 

Dr.    Stockmann. 
Anonymous,  of  course  ? 


Dr.  Stockmann. 
They  never  dare  give  their  names,  Katrina ! 

And  two  of  them  stated  that  a  gentleman  who 
is  often  at  our  house  said  at  the  club  last  night 
that  I  held  extremely   advanced    opinions  upon 
various  things 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Of  course  you  didn't  deny  it. 

Of  course  not.     You  know  Mrs.  Busk  herself  is 

ACT    v.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  157 

pretty  advanced  in  her  opinions  when  we're  alone 
together;  but  now  that  this  has  come  out  about 
me,  she  dared  not  keep  me  on. 

Mrs,  Stockmann. 
Some    one    that  is    often    at   our    house,   too  . 
There,  you  see,  Thomas,  what  comes  of  all  your 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
We  won't  live  any   longer  in  such  a  pig-sty  I 
Pack  up  as  quickly  as  you  can,  Katrina  ;  let's  get 
away — the  sooner  the  better. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Hush !     I    think    there    is    some   one    in    the 
passage.     See  who  it  is,  Petra. 

[Opening  the  door.]      Oh,   is  it   you.    Captain 
Horster  .''     Please  come  in. 


[From  the  hall.]     Good  morning.     I  thought  I 
might  just  look  in  and  ask  how  you  are. 

Dr.    Stockmann. 
[Shaking  his  hand.]     Thanks  ;    that's  very  good 
of  you. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
And  thank  you    for  helping   us   through  the 
crowd  last  night.  Captain  Horster. 

How  did  you  ever  get  home  again  ? 

158  AN    ENEMY    OK    THK    J'KOJ'LE.         [aCT    V. 


Oh,  that  was  all  right.  I  am  tolerably  able- 
bodied,  you  know  ;  and  those  fellows'  bark  is 
worse  than  their  bite. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  isn't  it  extraordinary,  this  piggish 
cowardice  ?  Come  here,  and  let  me  show  you 
something !  Look,  here  are  all  the  stones  they 
threw  in  at  us.  Only  look  at  them  .''  Upon  my 
soul  there  aren't  more  than  two  decent-sized 
lumps  in  the  whole  heap  ;  the  rest  are  nothing 
but  pebbles — mere  gravel.  They  stood  down 
there,  and  yelled,  and  swore  they'd  half  kill  me  ; 
— but  as  for  really  doing  it — no,  there's  mighty 
little  fear  of  that  in  this  town  ! 


You  may  thank  your  stars  for  that  this  time, 

Dr.    Stockmann. 

So  I  do,  of  course.  But  it's  depressing  all  the 
same  ;  for  if  ever  it  should  come  to  a  serious 
national  struggle,  you  may  be  sure  public  opinion 
would  be  for  taking  to  its  heels,  and  the  compact 
majority  would  scamper  for  their  lives  like  a  flock 
of  sheep.  Captain  Horster.  That  is  what's  so 
melancholy  to  think  of ;  it  grieves  me  to  the 
heart. — But  deuce  take  it — it's  foolish  of  me  to 
feel  anything  of  the  sort  !  They  have  called  me 
an  enemy  of  the  people;  well  then,  let  me  be  an 
enemy  of  the  people! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
That  you'll  never  be,  Thomas. 

ACT    v.]        AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  1 5f) 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You'd  better  not  take  your  oath  of  it,  Katrina. 
A  bad  name  may  act  like  a  pin-scratch  in  the  lung. 
And  that  confounded  word — I  can't  get  rid  of  it  ; 
it  has  sunk  deep  into  my  heart  ;  and  there  it  lies 
gnawing  and  sucking  like  an  acid.  And  no 
magnesia  can  cure  me. 

Pooh  ;  you  should  only  laugh  at  them,  father. 


People  will  think  differently  yet,  Doctor. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  Thomas,  that's  as  certain  as  that  you  are 
standing  here. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  perhaps,  when  it  is  too  late.  Well,  as  they 
make  their  bed  so  they  must  lie !  Let  them  go 
on  wallowing  here  in  their  pig-sty,  and  learn  to 
repent  having  driven  a  patriot  into  exile.  When 
do  you  sail.  Captain  Horster  } 


Well — that's  really  what  I   came  to   speak   to 

you  about 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What.''     Anything  wrong  with  the  ship.'' 

No ;  but  the  fact  is,  I  shan't  be  sailing  in  her. 

Surely  you  have  not  been  dismissed  .'' 

l60  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.        [aCT    V. 


[SmiUrig].     Yes,  I  have. 

You  too  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
There,  you  see,  Thomas. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And    for    the    truth's    sake !     Oh,    if   I    could 
possibly  have  imagined  such  a  thing 


You  mustn't  be  troubled  about  this ;  I  shall 
soon  find  a  berth  with  some  other  company,  else- 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

And  this  is  that  man  Vik  !  A  wealthy  man, 
independent  of  every  one  !     Faugh  ! 


Oh,  for  that  matter,  he's  a  very  well-meaning- 
man.  He  said  himself  he  would  gladly  have  kept 
me  on  if  only  he  dared 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But  he  didn't  dare  ?     Of  course  not .' 


It's  not  so  easy,  he  said,  when  you  belong  to  a 


Dr.  Stockmann. 

My  gentleman  has  hit  it  there !  A  party  is  like  a 
sausage-machine  ;  it  grinds  all  the  brains  together 
in  one  mash  ;  and  that's  why  we  see  nothing  but 
porridge-heads  and  pulp-heads  all  around  ! 

ACT  v.]    AN  ENEMY  OF  THE  PEOPLE.        l6l 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Now  reall)'^,  Thomas  ! 

[To    HoRSTER.]      If  only  you   hadn't    seen    us 
home,  perhaps  it  would  not  have  come  to  this. 


I  don't  regret  it. 

[^Gives  him  her  handJ]     Thank  you  for  that  ! 

\To  Dr.  Stockmann.]     And  then,  too,  I  wanted 
to  tell  you  this  :  if  you  are  really  determined  to  go 
abroad,  I've  thought  of  another  way 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
That's  good — if  only  we  can  get  off"  quickly 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Hush  !     Isn't  that  a  knock.'' 

I  believe  it  is  uncle. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Aha  !     [CallsJ]     Come  in  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
My  dear  Thomas,  now  do  promise  mc 

The  Burgomaster  enters  from  Vie  'nt.i 

[In  the  doorway.^     Oh,  you  are  engaged.      Then 
I'd  better — — 

l62  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.        [aCT    V. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
No  no  ;  come  in. 

But  I  wanted  to  speak  to  you  alone. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
We  can  go  into  the  sitting-room. 


And  I  shall  look  in  again  presently. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
No  no ;  go  with  the  ladies,  Captain  Horster ; 
1  must  hear  more  about 

All  right,  then  I'll  wait. 

[He  follows  Mrs.  Stockmann  and  Petra 
into  the  sitting  room.  The  Burgomaster 
says  nothing,  but  casts  glances  at  the 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  daresay  you  find  it  rather  draughty  here  to- 
day ?     Put  on  your  cap. 

Thanks,  if  I  may.     [Does  so.]     I  fancy  I  caught 
cold   yesterday   evening.     I    stood   there  shiver- 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Really  ,   On  my  soul,  now,  I  found  it  quite  warm 


i  regret  that  it  was  not  in  my  power  to  prevent 
these  nocturnal  excesses. 

act  v.]      an   enemy  op  the  people.  16*3 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Have  you  anything  else  in  particular  to  say  to 
me  .'' 


[Producing  a  large  letter.']  I  have  this  document 
for  you  from  the  Directors  of  the  Baths. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
My  dismissal  ? 

Yes  ;  dated  from  to-day.     [Places  the  letter  on 
the  table.]     We   are   very  sorry — but  frankly,  we 
dared  not   do  otherwise,    on   account   of  public 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Smiling.]     Dared  not  }     I've  heard  that  phrase 
already  to  day. 

I  beg  you  to  realise  your  position  clearly.     For 
the  future,   you   cannot  count   upon  any   sort  of 
practice  in  the  town. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Devil  take  the  practice  !  But  how  can  you  be 
so  sure  of  that  } 


The  House-owners'  Association  is  sending  round 
a  circular  from  house  to  house,  in  which  all  well- 
disposed  citizens  are  called  upon  not  to  employ  you ; 
and  I  dare  swear  that  not  a  single  head  of  a 
family  will  venture  to  refuse  his  signature  ;  he 
simply  dare  not. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well  well ;  I  don't  doubt  that.    But  what  then.? 

Kit  AN     KNENM'    OK    TIIK     I'KOI'LK.        [aCT    V. 

If  I   inijjht  advise,   I   would  .sii<Tgest   that  you 
should  leave  the  town  for  a  time 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  I've  had  some  such  idea  in  my  mind  already. 

Good.      And  when  you  have  had  six  months  or 
so  for  mature  deliberation,  if  you   could  make  up 
your  mind  to  acknowledge  your  error,  with  a  few 
words  of  regret 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  might  perhaps  be  reinstated,  you  think  ? 

Perhaps  it's  not  quite  out  of  the  question. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,    but    how    about    public    opinion .''     You 
daren't,  on  account  of  public  opinion. 

Opinion  is   extremely  variable.      And,  to  speak 
candidly,  it  is  of  the  greatest  imjwrtance  for  us  to 
have  such  an  admission  under  your  own  hand. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  I  daresay  it  would  be  mightily  convenient 
for  you  !     But  you   remember  what   I've  said  to 
you  before  about  such  foxes'  tricks ! 

At  that  time  your  position  was  infinitely  more 

AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    I'EOl'LE. 


favourable  ;  at  that  time  you  thought  you  had  the 
whole  town  at  your  back 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  and  now  I   have   the   whole  town  on  my 

back [Flaring   up.'\     But  no — not  if  I    had 

the  devil  and  his  dam  on  my  back —  !     Never — 
never,  1  tell  you  ! 

The  father  of  a  family  has  no  I'ight '  to  act  as 
you   are    doing.     You    have    no    right    to   do    it, 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I    have  no  right  I     There's  only   one  thing  in 
the  world   that  a  free   man  has  no  right  to  do  ; 
and  do  you  know  what  that  is .'' 


Dr.  Stockmann. 

Of  course  not ;  but  /  will  tell  you.  A  free  man 
has  no  right  to  wallow  in  filth  like  a  cur  ;  he  has 
no  right  to  act  so  that  he  ought  to  spit  in  his  own 
face  ! 


That  sounds  extremely  plausible  ;  and  if  there 
were  not  another  explanation  of  your  obstinacy — 
but  we  all  know  there  is 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  do  you  mean  by  that  ? 

1  "Has  no  right  "  represents  the  Norwegian  "tor  ikke" — 
the  phrase  which,  elsewhere  in  this  scene,  is  translated  "  dare 
not."'  The  lat'er  rendering  should  perhaps  have  been  adhered 
to  throughout ;  hut  in  this  passage  the  Norwegian  words  convey 
a  shade  of  meaning  which  is  best  represented  by  "has  no  right." 

l66  AN     ENKMV     OF    THE    I'KUIM.K.         [aCT    V. 

You  understand  well  enough.  IJut  as  your 
brother,  and  as  a  man  who  knows  the  world,  I 
warn  you  not  to  build  too  confidently  upon  pros- 
pects and  expectations  that  may  very  likely  come 
to  nothing. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,  what  on  earth  are  you  driving  at  ? 

Do  you  really  want  me  to  believe  that  you  are 
ignorant  of  the  terms  of  old  Morten  Kiil's  will  } 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  know  that  the  little  he  has  is  to  go  to  a  home 
for  old   and  needy  artizans.      But  what   has   that 
got  to  do  with  me  ? 

To  begin  with,  "  the  little  he  has  "  is  no  trifle. 
Morten  Kiil  is  a  tolerably  wealthy  man. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  have  never  had  the  least  notion  of  that ! 

H'm — really.''  Then  I  supj)ose  you  have  no 
notion  that  a  not  inconsiderable  part  of  his  fortune 
is  to  go  to  your  children,  you  and  your  wife 
having  a  life-interest  in  it.  Has  he  not  told  you 
that  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

No,  I'll  be  hanged  if  he  has  '  On  the  contrary, 
he  has  done  nothing  but  grun)ble  about  being  so 
pre|)o.tcrously  over-taxed.  But  are  you  really 
sure  of  this,  Peter .'' 

ACT  v.]   AN  ENEMY  OF  THE  PEOPLE.       l67 

I  have  it  from  a  thoroughly  trustworthy  source. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,   good  heavens,  then  Katrina's    provided 
for — and  the  children  too  !     Oh,  I   must  tell  her 
[Calls.]     Katrina,  Katrina! 

[Holding  him  back.]     Hush  !  don't  say  anything 
about  it  yet. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

[Opening  the  door.]     What  is  it  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Nothing  my  dear  ;  go  in  again. 

[Mrs.  Stockmann  closes  the  door. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Pacing  up  and    down.]     Provided   for !      Only 
think — all  of  them  provided  for  !     And   for  life  ! 
After    all,    it's    a   grand    thing    to    feel    yourself 
secure  ! 


Yes,  but  that  is  just  what  you  are  not.  Morten 
Kiil  can  revoke  his  will  any  day  or  hour  he 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

But  he  won't,  my  good  Peter.  The  Badger  is 
only  too  delighted  to  see  me  fall  foul  of  you  and 
your  wiseacre  friends. 

[Starts    and    looks    searchingly    at    him.]     Aha ! 
That  throws  a  new  light  on  a  good  many  things. 

1<)S  AN      KNKMN      i>|-     TIIK     l'Kl»|'|,K.  [aiT     V. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
What  things  ? 


So  the  whole  affair  has  been  a  carefully-con- 
cocted iutrijriie.  Your  recklessly  violent  on- 
slaught— in  the  name  of  truth — upon  the  leading 
men  of  the  town 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  what  of  it  ? 

It  was  nothing  but  a  preconcerted  requital  for 
that  vindictive  old  Morten  Kiil's  will. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Almosl  speechless.^     Peter — you    are   the  most 
abominable  plebeian  I  have  ever  known  in  all  my 
born  days. 

All    is    over   between    us.      Your    dismissal    is 
irrevocable — for  now  we  have   a  weapon   against 
you.                                                               [He  goes  out. 
Dr.  Stockmann. 
Shame  !    shame  I    shame  I      [Ca/h:]      Katrina 
The  floor  must  be  scrubbed  after  him  I     Tell   her 
to  come  here  with  a  pail — what's  her  name.''   con- 
found it — the  girl  with  the  smudge  on  her  nose 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[In    the    sitting-room    doorn'm/.^       Hush,  hush 
Thomas  ! 

[///.so  in  the  doonrai/.'^    Father, here's  grandfather; 
he  wants  to  know  if  he  can  speak  to  you  alone. 

act  v.]      an   enemy   ok  the   people.  1  ()<) 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  of  course   he  can.     [By  the  door.]    Come 
in,  father-in-law. 

Morten    Kiil  enters.     Dr.  Stockmann  closes  the 
door  behind  him. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  what  is  it  ?     Sit  down. 

Morten   Kiil. 
I    won't    sit    down.      [Looking   aboid    him.]      It 
looks  cheerful  here  to-day,  Stockmann. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  don't  you  think  so  } 

Morten  Kiil. 
Sure  enough.     And   you've  plenty  of  fresh  air 
too  ;  you've  got  your  fill  of  that  oxygen  you  were 
talking  about  yesterday.      You  must  have  a  rare 
good  conscience  to-day,  I  should  think. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  I  have, 

Morten  Kiil. 

So  I  should  suppose.      [Tapping  himself  on  the 
breast.]     But  do  you  know  what  /  have  got  here  ? 

Dr.  Stockman. 
A  good  conscience  too,  I  hope. 

Morton  Kiil. 
Pooh  !     No  ;  something  far  better  than  that. 

[Takes  out  a  large  pocket-book,  opens  it, 
and  shoivs  Stockmann  a  bundle  o/ 

170  AN     ENF.MY     <)K     TIIK     I'KOI'l.K.         [aCT    V. 

Dr.  Stock  MANN. 
[Looking  at  liim  in  (i.\i(»ii.s/i)iicnt.^     Sliares  in   tlie 
Baths  ! 

Morten  Kiil. 
They  weren't  difficult  to  get  to-day. 

Dh.  Stockmann. 
And  you've  gone  and  bought  these  up .'' 

Morten  Kiil. 
All  I  had  the  money  to  pay  for. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Why,  my   dear  sir, — just    when    things  are  in 
such  a  desperate  way  at  the  Baths 

Morten  Kiil. 
If  you  behave  like  a  reasonable  being,  you  can 
soon  set  the  Baths  all  right  again. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  you  can   see  for  yourself  I'm  doing  all  I 
can.     But  the  people  of  this  town  are  mad ! 

Morten  Kiil. 

You  said  yesterday  that  the  worst  filth  came 
from  my  tannery.  Now,  if  that's  true,  then  my 
grandfather,  and  my  fatlier  before  me,  and  I 
myself,  have  for  ever  so  many  years  been  jioisoning 
the  town  with  filth,  like  three  destroying  angels. 
Do  you  think  I'm  going  to  sit  quiet  under  such  a 
reproach  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Unfortunately,  you  can't  help  it. 

ACT    v.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE    I'EOPLE.  l7l 

Morten  Kiil. 
No,  thank  you.  I  hold  fast  to  my  good  name. 
I've  heard  that  people  call  me  "  the  Badger."  A 
badger's  a  sort  of  a  pig,  I  know  ;  but  I'm  deter- 
mined to  give  them  the  lie.  I  will  live  and  die 
a  clean  man. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  how  will  you  manage  that  .'' 

Morten  Kiil. 
You  shall  make  me  clean,  Stockmann. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Morten  Kiil. 
Do  you  know  what  money  I've  used  to  buy 
these  shares  with  ?  No,  you  can't  know;  but  now 
I'll  tell  you.  It's  the  money  Kati-ina  and  Petra 
and  the  boys  are  to  have  after  my  death.  For, 
you  see,  I've  laid  by  something  after  all. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Flaring   up.]      And    you've    taken     Katrina's 
money  and  done  this  with  it ! 

Morten  Kiil. 
Yes  ;  the  whole  of  it  is  invested  in  the  Baths 
now.  And  now  I  wan't  to  see  if  you're  really  so 
stark,  staring  mad^  after  all,  Stockmann.  If  you 
go  on  making  out  that  these  beasts  and  other 
abominations  dribble  down  from  my  tannery,  it'll 
be  just  as  if  you  were  to  flay  broad  stripes  of 
Katrina's  skin — and  Petra's  too,  and  the  boys. 
No  decent  father  would  ever  do  that — unless  he 
were  a  madman. 

172  an    knk>m    ok    iiik   hkol'le.      [\ct  \. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[H'a/kiiig  up  and  down  J     Yes,  but  1  am  a  mad- 
man ;   lam  a  madman  ! 

MuKTEN    Km,. 
Voii    surely  can't    be   so   raving,    ramping   mad 
where  your  wife  and  children  are  concerned. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Stopping  in  front  of  him.\     Why  couKln't  you 
have  spoken  to  me  before  you  went  and  bought 
all  that  rubbish  > 

Morten   Kiil. 
What's  done  can't  be  undone. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[  Walking  rcstlexxli/  ahoul.^     If  only  I  weren't  so 

certain  about  the  affair !     But  I  am  absolutely 

convinced  that  I'm  right. 

Morten  Kul. 
[Weighing  the   pocket  book  in  his  hand.^      If  you 
stick  to  this  lunacy,  these  aren't  worth  much. 

[Piit.s  the  hook  into  his  pocket. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But,  deuce  take  it  !  surely  science  ought  to  be 
able  to  hit  upon  some  antidote,  some  sort  of  pro- 

Morten   Kiil. 
Do  you  mean  something  to  kill  the  beasts .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  or  at  least  to  make  them  harmless. 

act  v.]      an  enemy  of  the   people.  173 

Morten  Kiil. 
Couldn't  you  try  ratsbane  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Oh,  nonsense,  nonsense  ! — But  since  every  one 
declares  it's  nothing  but  fancy,  why  fancy  let  it 
be  !  Let  them  have  it  their  own  way  !  Haven't 
the  ignorant,  narrow-hearted  curs  reviled  me  as 
an  enemy  of  the  people  ? — and  weren't  they  on 
the  point  of  tearing  the  clothes  off  my  back  ? 

Morten  Kiil. 
And  they've  smashed  all  your  windows  for  you 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  and  then  there's  one's  duty  to  one's  family  ! 
I  must   talk   that  over  with  Katrina  ;  such  things 
are  more  in  her  line. 

Morten  Kiil. 
That's  right!     You  just  follow  the  advice  of  a 
sensible  woman. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
\Ttirning  upon  him  angrily.^     How  could  you  ac" 
so  preposterously  !      Risking  Katrina's  money,  and 
putting  me  to  this  horrible  torture  !     When  I  look 
at  you,  I  seem  to  see  the  devil  himself ' 

Morten  Kiil. 
Then  I'd  better  be  off.     But  I  must  hear  from 
you,  yes  or  no,  by  two  o'clock.      If  it's  no,  all  the 
shares  go  to    the    Hospital — and    that    this  very 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
And  what  will  Katrina  get } 

174  AN    ENEMY    OF    THE     PEOPLE.        [aCT    V. 

Morten   Kiil. 
Not  a  rap. 

[^Thedoor  leading  to  the  hall  opens.  Hovstad 
arid  AsLAKSEN  are  seen  outside  it. 

Morten  Kiil. 
Hullo  !  look  at  these  two. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Staring  at  them.]    What!     Do  you  actually  ven- 
ture to  come  here .'' 

Why,  to  be  sure  we  do. 


You  see,  we've  something  to  discuss  with  you. 

Morten  Kiil. 
[Whispers.]     Yes  or  no — by  two  o'clock. 


[With  a  glance  at  Hovstad.]     Aha  ! 

[Morten  Kiil  goes  out. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  what  do  you  want  with  me  ?     Be  brief. 

I   can   quite  understand    that    you    resent    our 
attitude  at  the  meeting  yesterday 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yo.r  attitude.  )'ou  say  .^     Yes,  it  was  a  pretty 
attitude  I     I  call  it  the  attitude  of  cowards — of  old 
women Shame  upon  you  ! 

ACT    v.]        AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  175 


Call  it  what  you  will;  but  we  could  not  act 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

You  dare  d  not,  I  suppose  ?     Isn't  that  so  ? 


Yes,  if  you  like  to  put  it  so. 


But  why  didn't  you  just  say  a  word  to  us  before- 
hand .''     The  merest  hint  to   Mr.   Hovstad  or  to 


Dr.  Stockmann. 

A  hint  }     What  about } 


About  what  was  really  behind  it  all. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
I  don't  in  the  least  understand  you  } 


[Nods  confidentially.]     Oh  yes,  you  do.  Dr.  Stock- 


It's    no    good    making   a   mystery    of    it    any 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

{Looking  from  one  to  the  other.]     Why,  what  in 
the  devil's  name ! 


May  I  ask — isn't  your  father-in-law  going  about 
the  town  buying  up  all  the  Bath  stock 

176  AN     KNEMV     OK    TIIK     I'KOIM.  K. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,   he   has   been   buying  Bath  stock  to-day 


It  would  have  been  more  prudent  to  let  some- 
body else  do  that — some  one  not  so  closely  con- 
nected with  you. 


And  then  you  ought  not  to  liave  appeared  in 
the  matter  under  your  own  name.  No  one  need 
have  known  that  the  attack  on  the  Haths  came 
from  you.  You  should  have  taken  me  into  your 
counsels.  Dr.   Stockmami. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Stares  straight  in  front  of  him  ;  a  lig/U  seems  to 
hreak  in  upon   hivi,  and  he  says   as  though  thunder- 
struck.^     Is  this  possible  .''     Can  such  things  be  ? 


[Siniling.^  It's  pldn  enough  that  they  can.  But 
they  ought  to  be  managed  delicate.y,  you  under- 


And  there  ought  to  be  more  people  in  it;  for 
the  resj)onsil)ility  always  falls  more  lightly  when 
there  are  several  to  share  it. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Cahnh/.]     In  one  word,  gentlemen — what  is  it 
you  want  .'' 


Mr.  Hovstad  can  best 

ACT    v.]         AN     ENEMY     OF    THE     PEOPLE.  177 


Noj  you  explain,  Aslaksen. 


Well,  it's  this :  now  that  we  know  how  the 
matter  really  stands,  we  believe  we  can  venture  to 
place  the  People  s  Messenger  at  your  disposal. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You  can  venture  to  now,  eh  ?     But  how  about 
public  opinion  ?  Aren't  you  afraid  of  bringing  down 
a  storm  upon  us  .'' 


We  must  manage  to  ride  out  the  storm. 

And  you  must   be   ready  to  put  about  quickly, 
Doctor.     As   soon    as    your   attack    has    done  itis 


Dr.  Stockmann. 
As  soon  as  my  father-in-law  and  I  have  bought 
up  the  shares  at  a  discount,  you  mean  .'' 


I  presume  it  is  mainly  on  scientific  grounds  that 
you  want  to  take  the  management  of  the  Baths 
into  your  own  hands. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Of  course  ;  it  was  on  scientific  grounds  that  I 
got  the  old  Badger  to  stand  in  with  mr.  And  then 
we'll  tinker  up  the  water-works  a  little,  and  potter 
about  a  bit  down  at  the  beach,  without  its  costing 
the  town  sixpence.  That  ought  to  do  the  busi- 
ness .''    Eh  .'' 

178  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE     PEOPLE.         [acT    V. 


I  tliink  so — if  you  liave  the  Messenger  to  back 
you  up. 


In  a  free  community  the  press  is  a  power, 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  indeed  ;  and  so  is  public  opinion.    And  you, 
Mr.  Aslaksen — I  supj)ose  you  will  answer  for  the 
House-owners'  Association  } 

Both  for  the  House-owners'  Association  and  the 
Temperance  Society.     You  may  make  your  mind 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
But,  gentlemen — really  I'm  quite  ashamed  to 
mention  such  a  thing — but  —  what  return ? 


Of  course,  we  should  prefer  to  give  you  our 
aupport  for  nothing.  But  the  Messenger  is  not 
very  firmly  established  ;  it's  not  getting  on  as  it 
ought  to  ;  and  I  should  be  very  sorry  to  have  to 
stop  the  paper  just  now,  when  there's  so  much  to 
be  done  in  general  politics. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Naturally  ;  that  would  be  very  hard  for  a  friend 
of  the  people  like  you.  [F/aring  ///).]  But  I — I 
am  an  enemy  of  the  people  !  [Striding  alnnd  the 
7oo?«.]  Where's  my  stick  .^  Where  the  devil  is 
my  stick  } 

ACT    v.]        AN     ENEMY    OF    THE     PEOPLE.  179 


What  do  you  mean  ? 


Surely  you  wouldn't 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Standing    still.]      And    suppose    I    don't    give 
you    a    single    farthing    out    of    all    my   shares  ? 
You    must    remember   we    rich   folk   don't   like 
parting  with  our  money. 


And  you  must  remember  that  this  business  of 
the  shares  can  be  represented  in  two  ways. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  you  are  the  man  for  that ;  if  I  don't  come 
to  the  rescue  of  the  Messenger,  you'll  manage  to 
put  a  vile  complexion  on  the  affair  ;  you'll  hunt 
me  down,  I  suppose— bait  me — try  to  throttle  me 
as  a  dog  throttles  a  hare  ! 


That's  a  law  of  nature — every  animal  fights 
for  its  own  subsistence. 


And  must  take  its  food  where  it  can  find  it,  you 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Then  see  if  you  can't  find  some  out  in  the  gutter  ; 
[Striding  about  the  roo7n]  for  now,  by  heaven  !  we 
shall  see  which  is  the  strongest  animal  of  us  three. 

180  AN     KNEMV     OK     TlIK     I'F.OIM.K.  [aCT    V. 

[Finds  /lis  umbrella  and  brandishes  j7.]     Now,  look 
here ! 


You  surely  don't  mean  to  assault  us  ! 


I  say,  be  careful  with  that  umbrella 

Dh.  Stockmann. 
Out  at  the  window  with  you,  Mr.  Hovstad  I 


[By  the  hall  door.'\     Are  you  utterly  crazy  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Out  at  the  window,  Mr.  Aslaksen  !      Jump  I  tell 
you  !      Be  quick  about  it  I 

[Uunmng   round   the  writing-table.^      Moderation, 
Doctor  ;    I'm  not  at  all  strong  ;  I  can't  stand  much 
[Screams.^     Help!  help! 

Mrs.  Stockmann,  Petra,  and  Horster  enter  frovi 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Good    heavens,    Thomas  !     what    can    be  the 
matter  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Brandishing  the  U7nbrella.]     Jump,    I  tell  you  • 
Out  into  the  gutter  ! 

An  unprovoked  assault  I      I  call  you  to  witness. 
Captain  Horster.  [Rushes  off  through  the  hall. 

ACT    v.]        AN    ENEMY    OF    THE    PEOPLE.  ISl 


[Bewildered.^  If  one  only  knew  the  local  situa- 
tion  ! '       [He  slinks  out  hij  the  sitting-room  door. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
[Holding  back  the  Doctor.]     Now,  do   restrain 
yourself,  Thomas  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Throwing  down  the  umbrella.^     I'll  be  hanged  if 
they  haven't  got  off  after  all. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Why,  what  can  they  have  wanted  with  you  .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann 
I'll  tell  you  afterwards  :  I  have  other  things  to 
think  of  now.     [Goes  to  the  table  and  writes  on  a 
visiting-card.]    Look  here,  Katrina  :  what's  written 
here  .'' 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

Three  big  Noes  ;  what  does  that  mean  ? 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
That  I'll  tell  you  afterwards,  too.      [Handing  the 
card.]     There,  Petra  ;  let  smudgy  face  run  to  the 
Badger's  with  this  as  fast  as  she  can.     Be  quick ! 
[Petra  goes  out  through  the  hall  with  the 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well,  if  I  haven't  had  visits  to-day  from  all  the 

1  "  De  lokale  forholde  " — the  local  conditions,  or  the  circum- 
stances of  the  localitv,  a  phrase  constantly  in  Aslaksen's  mouth 
in  TAe  League  of  Youth.  In  the  present  context  it  is  about 
equivalent  to  "  the  lie  ol  the  land." 


182  AN     ENEMY    OF    THE     PEOI'LE.         [aCT    V. 

emissaries  of  the  devil  !  But  now  I'll  sharpen 
my  pen  against  them  till  it  becomes  a  goad  ;  I'll 
dip  it  in  gall  and  venom  ;  I'll  hurl  my  inkstanf^^ 
straight  at  their  skulls. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
You  forget  we  are  going  away,  Thomas. 

Petra  returns. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Well } 

She  has  gone. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Good,      Going  away,  do  you  say .''     No,  I'll  be 
damned  if  we  do ;  we  stay  where  we  are,  Katrina  ' 

Stay  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Here  in  the  town  } 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  here  ;  the  field  of  battle  is  here  ;  here  the 
fight  must  be  fought ;  here  I  will  conquer  I  As 
soon  as  my  trousers  are  mended,  I  shall  go  out 
into  the  town  and  look  for  a  house  ;  we  must  have 
a  roof  over  our  heads  for  the  winter. 


That  you  can  have  in  my  house. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Can  I  > 


ACT    v.]        AN     ENKMY     OF    THE    PEOPLE.  183 


Yes,   there's  no  difficulty  about  that.     I  have 
room  enough,  and  I'm  hardly  ever  at  home  myself. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Ohj  how  kind  of  you.  Captain  Horster 

Thank  you ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Shaking  his  handJ]  Thanks,  thanks  !  So  that  is 
off  my  mind.  And  this  very  day  I  shall  set  to 
work  in  earnest.  Oh,  there's  no  end  of  work  to 
be  done  here,  Katrina  !  It's  a  good  thing  I  shall 
have  all  my  time  at  my  disposal  now  ;  for  you 
must  know  I've  had  notice  from  the  Baths 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
\SighingJ\     Oh  yes,  I  was  expecting  that. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

And    now   they  want    to  take    away    my 

practice  as  well.  But  let  them  !  The  poor  I  shall 
keep  anyhow — those  that  can't  pay ;  and,  good 
Lord  !  it's  they  that  need  me  most  But  by 
heaven  !  Ill  make  them  listen  to  me  ;  I'll  preach 
to  them  in  season  and  out  of  season,  as  the  saying 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 

My  dear  Thomas,    I   should   have  thought  you 
had  learnt  what  good  preaching  does. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
You   really  are   absurd,  Katrina.       Am  I  to  let 

1  S  !•  AN     KNKMN      ol'     I'll  K     I'KoiM.K.         [aCT 

myself  be  beaten  off  the  field  by  public  opinion, 
and  the  compact  majority,  and  all  that  sort  of 
devilry?  No,  tiiaiik  you  !  Besides,  my  point  is 
so  simple,  so  clear  and  strai<,'htforward.  I  only 
want  to  drive  it  into  the  heads  of  these  curs  that 
the  Liberals  are  the  craftiest  foes  free  men  have 
to  face  ;  that  party-pro-rrammes  wrinj^  the  necks 
of  all  young  and  livinf?  truths ;  that  considera- 
tions of  expediency  turn  justice  and  morality 
ui)side  down,  until  life  here  becomes  simply 
unlivable.  Come,  Captain  Horster,  don't  you 
think  I  shall  be  able  to  make  the  people 
understand  that  ? 


Maybe  ;  I  don't  know  much  about  these  things 

Dr.  Stockmann. 

Well,  you  see — this  is  the  way  of  it !  It's  the 
party-leaders  that  must  be  exterminated.  For  a 
party-leader  is  just  like  a  wolf,  you  see — like  a 
I'avening  wolf;  he  must  devour  a  certain  number 
of  smaller  animals  a  year,  if  he's  to  exist  at  all. 
Just  look  at  Hovstad  and  Aslaksen  !  How  many 
small  animals  they  polish  off — or  at  least  mangle 
and  luaim,  so  that  they're  fit  for  nothing  else  but 
to  be  house-owners  and  subscribers  to  the  People  s 
Messenger  !  [Sits  on  the  edge  of  the  table.^  Just 
come  here,  Katrina — see  how  bravely  the  sun 
shines  to-day  !  And  how  the  blessed  fresh  spring 
air  blows  in  upon  me  ! 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  if  only  we  could  live  on  sunshine  and  spring 
air,  Thomas 

ACT    v.]         AN     ENEMY     OK     THE     PEOPLE. 


Dr.  Stockmann. 

Well,  you'll  have  to  pinch  and  save  to  eke  them 
out — and  then  we  shall  get  on  all  right.  That's 
what  troubles  me  least.  No,  what  does  trouble 
me  is  that  I  don't  see  any  man  free  enough  and 
high-minded  enough  to  dare  to  take  up  my  work 
after  me. 


Oh,  don't  think  about  that,  father ;  you  have 
time  enough  before  you. — Why,  see,  there  are  the 
boys  already. 

EiLiFawrf  Morten  enter  from  the  sitting-room. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
Have  you  a  holiday  to-day? 

No ;  but  we  had  a  fight  with  the  other  fellows 

in  play-time 

EiLiF.  :^ 

That's  not  true ;  it  was  the  other  fellows  that 
fought  us. 

Yes,  and  then  Mr.  Rorlund  said  we  had  better 
stop  at  home  for  a  few  days. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[Snapping  his  fingers  and  springing  down  from  the 
table.]     Now  I   have  it  !     Now  I  have  it,  on  my 
soul !     You  shall  never  set  foot  in  school  again  ' 

The  Boys. 
Never  go  to  school ! 

J86  AN     ENKMY     OK    TlIK     I'KOI'LE.        [aCT    V. 

Mns.  Stockmann. 
Why,  Thomas 

Dh.  Stockmann. 
Never,  I  say  I     1  shall  teach  you  myself — that's 
to  say,  I  won't  teach  you  any  mortal  thing 

Hurrah  I 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
but  I  shall  help  you  to  grow  into  free,  high- 
minded  men. — Look  here,  you'll  have  to  help  me, 

Yes,  father,  you  may  be  sure  I  will. 

Du.  Stockmann. 
And  we'll  have  our  school    in   the  room  where 
they  reviled  me  as  an  enemy  of  the  people.     But 
we  must  have  more  j)upils.      I  must  have  at   least 
a  dozen  boys  to  begin  with. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
You'll  never  get  them  in  this  town. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
We  shall  see.     [To  the  hoys.]     Don't  you  know 
any  street  urchins — any  regular  ragamuffins ? 

Yes,  father,  I  know  lots ! 

Dk.  Stockmann. 
That's  all  right ;    bring  me  a  few  of  them.     I 

ACT  v.]    AN  ENEMY  OF  THE  PEOPLE.       187 

shall  experiment  with  the  street-curs  for  once  in  a 
way  ;  there  are  sometimes  excellent  heads  amongst 

But  what  are  we  to  do  when  we've  grown  into 
free  and  high-minded  men .'' 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Drive  all  the  wolves  out  to  the  far  west,  boys! 
[EiLiF  looks  rather  doubtful;  Mortej<  jutnps 
about  shotding  "  Hurrah  J  " 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
If  only  the  wolves  don't  drive  you  out,  Thomas. 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Are  you  quite  mad,  Katrina  !     Drive  meout! 
Now  that  I  am  the  strongest  man  in  the  town  ? 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
The  strongest — now  .-* 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
Yes,  I  venture  to  say  this :  that  now  I  am  one 
of  the  strongest  men  in  the  whole  world, 

I  say,  v/hat  fun  ! 

Dr.  Stockmann. 
[In  a  siibdued  voice.]     Hush;  you  mustn't  speak 
about  it  yet ;  but  I  have  made  a  great  discovery. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
What,  another  ? 

I^.S  AN     ENK>n      OK    TIIK     I'KolM.E.         [\(T    V. 

Dii.  Stockmann. 
Yes,    of    course  I      [OV////rT.v  them    ahouf  him,  and 
spcnks   coii/i(h'niia//ij.]      This  is   what    1   have  dis- 
covered, you  see :   the  strongest  man  in  the  world 
is  he  who  stands  most  alone. 

Mrs.  Stockmann. 
\ Shakes  her  head,  sviiling.  ]   A  li,  Thomas  dear ! 

[Grasping his  hands  checri/y.]      Father  ! 

THE    END. 




WeeLE,  a  mercfuint,  manvfiicturer,  etc. 
GEEGERS  WeRLE,  his  son. 

Old  Ekdal. 

HiALMAR  Ekdal,  his  son,  a  photographer. 

Gin  A  Ekdal,  Hialmar's  wife. 

Hedvig,  their  daufihtcr,  a  girl  of  fourteen. 

Mrs.  Sorby,  Werlc's  housekeeper. 

Relling,  a  doctor. 

MoLviK,  ex-student  of  theology. 

Geaberg,  Werle's  hookkeeper. 

Pettersen,  Werle's  servant. 

Jensen,  a  hired  waiter. 

A  Flabby  Gentleman. 

A  Thin-haired  Gentleman. 

A  Short-sighted  Gentleman. 

Six  other  gentlemen,  guests  at  Werle's  dinner-party. 

Several  hired  waiters. 

The  first  act  passes  in  Werle's  house,  the  remaining  acts  at 
Hialraar  Ekdal's. 

Pronunciation  of  Names:  Gregers  Werle  =  Grayghers  Verle  ; 
Hialmar  Ekdal  =:Yalmar  Aykdal;  Gina  =  Gbeena;  Graberg  = 
Groberg ;  Jensen  =  Yensen. 




At  Werle's  house.  A  richly  and  comfortably 
furnished  study ;  bookcases  and  upholstered 
furniture  ;  a  writing-table,  tvith  papers  and  docu- 
ments, in  the  centre  of  the  room  ;  lighted  lamps 
tvith  green  shades,  giving  a  subdued  light.  At 
the  back,  open  folding-doors  with  curtains  drawn 
back.  Within  is  seen  a  large  and  handsome  room, 
brilliantly  lighted  with  lamps  and  branching 
candlesticks.  In  frojit,  on  the  right  (in  the  study), 
a  small  baize  door  leads  into  Werle's  ojfice. 
On  the  left,  in  front,  a  fireplace  with  a  glowing 
coal  fire,  and  farther  back  a  double  door  leading 
into  the  dining-room. 

Werle's  servant,  Pettersen,  in  livery,  and  Jensen, 
the  hired  waiter,  in  black,. are  putling  the  study 
in  order.  In  the  large  room,  two  or  three  other 
hired  waiters  are  moving  about,  arranging  things 
and  lighting  more  candles.  From  the  dining-room, 
the  hum  of  conversation  and  laughter  of  many 
voices  are  hea^d;  a  glass  is  tapped  7i'ilh  a  knife; 
silence  follows,  and  a  toast  is  proposed;  shouts  of 
"Bravo!  "  and  then  again  a  buzz  of  conversation* 

lyii  TUK     WILD     I)U(  K.  [act    I. 

l^Lig/dx  a  lamp  on  the  chivineif-place  and  placr.s  a 
shade  over  it.]     Hark  to  them,  Jensen  !  now  the 
ohl  man's  on  his  legs  holding  a  long  palaver  about 
Mrs.  Sorby. 

■  ,:.-     [Pii.s/iing  forward  an  arm-chair.]      Is  it  true,  what 
,\  folks  say,  that  they're — very  good  friends,  eh  .'' 

Lord  knows. 

I've  heard  tell  as  he's  been  a  lively  customer  in 
his  day. 

May  be. 

And   lit's  giving  this  spread   in   honour  of  his 
son,  they  say. 

Yes.     His  son  came  home  yesterday. 

This  is  the  first  time  I  ever  heard  as  Mr.  VVerle 
had  a  son. 


Oh  yes,  he  has  a  son,  right  enough.  But  he's 
a  fixture,  as  you  might  say,  up  at  the  Hoidal 
works.  He's  never  once  come  to  town  all  the 
years  I've  been  in  service  here. 

A  Waiter. 

{In  the  doonray  of  the  other  room.]  Pettersen, 
here's  an  old  fellow  wanting — 

act  i.]  the  wild   duck.  193 

[Mutters.]     The  devil — who's  this  now  ? 

Old  Ekdal  appeal's  from  the  right,  in  the  inner 
room.  He  is  dressed  in  a  threadbare  overcoat 
with  a  high  collar ;  he  wears  woollen  mittens, 
and  carries  in  his  hand  a  stick  and  a  fur  cap. 
Under  his  arm,  a  brown  paper  parcel.  Dirty 
red-brown  wig  and  small  grey  moustache. 

{Goes  towards  him.]     Good  Lord — what  do  you 
want  here  ? 

\In   the  doorway.]     Must   get   into   the   office, 

The  office  was  closed  an  hour  ago,  and 


So  they  told  me  at  the  front  door.    But  Graberg's 

in  there  still.     Let  me  slip  in  this  way,  Pettersen; 

there's  a  good  fellow.     [Points  towards  the  baize 

door.]     It's  not  the  first  time  I've  come  this  way. 

Well,  you  may  pass.    [Opens  the  door.]  But  mind 
you  go  out  again  the  proper  way,  for  we've  got 

I    know,    I    know — h'm !     Thanks,    Pettersen, 
good  old  friend  !     Thanks!    [M/tlfers  .softly.]    Ass! 
[He  goes  into  the  office  ;    Petteuson   shuts 
the  door  after  him. 

l[)i  THE    WILD     DUCK. 

Is  he  one  of  the  office  people  ? 

No,   he's  only  an  outside   hand  that  does  odd 
jobs  of  copyinf^.      Hut  he's  been  a  tip-topper   in 
ills  (lay,  has  old  Ekdal. 

You  can  see  he's  been  through  a  lot. 

Yes  ;  he  was  an  army  officer,  you  know. 

You  don't  say  so  ? 

No  mistake  about  it.  But  then  he  went  into 
the  timber  trade  or  something  of  the  sort.  They 
say  he  once  played  Mr.  VVerle  a  very  nasty  trick. 
They  were  partners  in  the  Hoidal  works  at  the 
time.  Oh,  I  know  old  Ekdal  well,  I  do.  Many 
a  nip  of  bitters  and  bottle  of  ale  we  two  have 
drunk  at  Madam  Eriksen's. 

He  don't  look  as  if  he'd  much  to  stand  treat 


Why,  bless  you,  Jensen,  it's  me  that  stands 
treat.  I  always  think  there's  no  harm  in  being  a 
bit  civil  to  folks  that  have  seen  better  days. 

Did  he  go  bankrupt  then  ? 

act  i.]  the   wild  duck.  195 

Worse  than  that.     He  went  to  prison. 

To  prison  I 

Or  perhaps  it  was  the  Penitentiary.     [Listens.l^ 
Sh  !     They're  leaving  the  table. 

The  dining-room  door  is  thrown  open  from  7vithin,  by 
a  couple  of  waiters.  Mrs.  Sorby  comes  out  con- 
vei'sirig  with  two  gentlemen.  Gradvnlly  the  whole 
company  follows,  amongst  them  Werle.  Last 
come  HiALMAR  Ekdal  and  Gregers  Werle. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
[/w  passing,  to  the  servant.^     Tell  them  to  serve 
the  coffee  in  the  music- room,  Pettersen. 

Very  well,  Madam. 

[<SAe  goes  with  the  two  Gentlemen  into  the 
inner  room,  and  thence  out  to  the  right. 
Pettersen  and  Jensen  go  out  the  same 

A  Flabby  Gentleman. 
[To  a  Thin-haired  Gentleman.]   Whew  !  What 
a  dinner ! — It  wa^  no  joke  to  do  it  justice  ! 

The    Thin-Haired  Gentleman. 
Oh,  with  a  little  good-will  one  can  get  through 
a  lot  in  three  hours. 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
Yes,    but    afterwards,     afterwards,     my     dear 
Chamberlain  ! 

\()6  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    I. 

A  TiiiHD  Gentleman. 
I  hear  the    coffee    and   maraschino  are   to    be 
served  in  the  music-room. 

The  Flauuy  CJentleman. 
Bravo !     Then  perhaps  Mrs.  Sorby  will  play  us 

The  Thin-haired  Gentleman. 
[In  a  Ion'  voice.]     I  hope  Mrs.  Sorby  mayn't  play 
us  a  tune  we  don't  like,  one  of  these  days  ! 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
Oh  no,  not  she  I     Bertha  will  never  turn  against 
her  old  friends. 

[They  laugh  ami  pass  into  the  inner  room. 

[In  a  J 01V  Mice,  dejectedly.]     I  don't  think  any- 
body noticed  it,  Gregers. 

[Looh  at  him.]     Noticed  what } 

Did  you  not  notice  it  either } 

What  do  you  mean  ? 

We  were  thirteen  at  table. 

Indeed  .^     Were  there  thirteen  of  us  } 

act  i.]  the   wild   duck.  197 

[Glances  totvards  Hialmar  Ekdal.]     Our   usual 
party    is    twelve.       [To   the   others.]      This    way, 
gentlemen  ! 

[Werle  and  the  others,  all  except  Hialmar 
and  Gregers,  go  out  by  the  back,  to  the 

[  Who  has  overheard  the  conversation.]     You  ought 
not  to  have  invited  me,  Gregers. 

What !     Not  ask  my  best  and  only  friend  to  a 
party  supposed  to  be  in  my  honour .'' 

But  I  don't  think  your  father  likes  it.     You  see 
I  am  quite  outside  his  circle. 

So  I  hear.  But  I  wanted  to  see  you  and  have 
a  talk  with  you,  and  I  certainly  shan't  be  staying 
long. — Ah,  we  two  old  schoolfellows  have  drifted 
far  apart  from  each  other.  It  must  be  sixteen  or 
seventeen  years  since  we  met. 


Is  it  so  long  ? 

It   is   indeed.     Well,   how  goes  it  with  you  } 
You  look  well.     You  have  put  on  flesh,  and  grown 
almost  stout. 

Well,  "  stout  "  is  scarcely  the  word  ;  but  I  dare- 
say I  look  a  little  more  of  a  man  than  I  used  to. 

1()S  TlIK     Wll.l)     DLCK.  [act    I. 

Yes,  you  do;    your   outer   man  is  in   first  rate 

Hi  ALMA  H. 

[In  a  tone  of  gloom. \  Ah,  but  the  inner  man  I 
That  is  a  very  different  matter,  I  can  tell  you  ! 
Of  course  you  know  of  the  terrible  catastrophe 
that  lias  befallen  me  and  mine  since  last  we  met. 

\^Iore  softly. ^     How  are  things  going  with  your 
father  now  ? 


Don't  let  us  talk  of  it,  old  fellow.  Of  course 
my  poor  unhappy  father  lives  with  me.  He 
hasn't  another  soul  in  the  world  to  care  for  him. 
But  you  can  understand  that  this  is  a  miserable 
subject  for  me. — Tell  me,  rather,  how  you  have 
been  getting  on  up  at  the  works. 

I   have   had  a  delightfully  lonely  time  of  it — 
plenty  of  leisure  to  think  and  think  about  things. 
Come  over  here;  we  may  as  well  make  ourselves 

[//e  .scats  himself  in  an  ann-chair  by  the 
^ire  and  draws  Hialmar  down  into 
another  alongside  of  it. 

[Sentijnentally.]     After  all,  Gregers,  I  thank  you 
for  inviting  me  to  your  father's  table  ;    for  I  take 
it  as  a  sign  that  you  have  got  over  your  feeling 
against  me. 

ACT    I.]  THE     WILD     DUCK.  199 

[Surprised.^     How  could  you  imagine  I  had  any 
feeling  against  you  ? 


You  had  at  first,  you  know. 

How  at  first  ? 


After  the  great  misfortune.  It  was  natural 
enough  that  you  should.  Your  father  was  within 
an  ace  of  being  drawn  into  that— well,  that  terrible 


Why  should  that  give  me  any  feeling  against 
you  .'*     Who  can  have  put  that  into  your  head  ? 


I  know  it  did,  Gregers  ;  your  father  told  me 
so  himself 


[Starts.]  My  father!  Oh  indeed.  H'm. — Was 
that  why  you  never  let  me  hear  from  you  ? — not  a 
single  word. 



Not  even  when  you  made    up  your   mind    to 
become  a  photographer .'' 


Your  father  said  I  had  better  not  write  to  you 
at  all,  about  anything. 

200  TIIK     WII.I)     DUCK.  [act    I. 

[Loo^ijif;  siraight  before  //////.]     Well  well,  perhaps 
he  was  right. — But  tell  ine  now,  Hialinar  :  are  you 
pretty  well  satisfied  with  your  present  position  ? 


\^lVitli  a  Utile  sig/i]  Oh  yes,  I  am  ;  1  have  really 
no  cause  to  complain.  At  first,  as  you  may  guess, 
I  felt  it  a  little  strange.  It  was  such  a  totally  new 
state  of  things  for  me.  Hut  of  course  my  whole 
circumstances  were  totally  changed.  Father's 
utter,  irretrievable  ruin, — the  shame  and  disgrace 
of  it,  Gregers 

\ Affected,]     Yes,  yes  ;  I  understand. 


I  couldn't  think  of  remaining  at  college  ;  there 
wasn't  a  shilling  to  spare  ;  on  the  contrary,  there 
were  debts — mainly  to  your  father  I  believe 



In  short,  I  thought  it  best  to  break,  once  for 
all,  with  my  old  surroundings  and  associations, 
it  was  your  father  that  specially  urged  me  to  it; 
and  since  he  interested  himself  so  much  in 

My  father  did  ? 


Yes,  you  surely  knew  that,  didn't  you  ?  Where 
do    you    suppose    I    found   the    money  to   learn 

ACT    I.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  201 

photography,  and  to  furnish  a  studio  and  make  a 
start  ?  All  that  costs  a  pretty  penny,  I  can  tell 


And  my  father  provided  the  money? 


Yes,  my  dear  fellow,  didn't  you  know  ?  I 
understood  him  to  say  he  had  written  to  you 
about  it. 


Not  a  word  about  his  part  in  the  business.  He 
must  have  forgotten  it.  Our  correspondence  has 
always  been  purely  a  business  one.  So  it  was  my 
father  that ! 


Yes,  certainly.  He  didn't  wish  it  to  be 
generally  known  ;  but  he  it  was.  And  of  course 
it  was  he,  too,  that  put  me  in  a  position  to  marry. 
Don't  you — don't  you  know  about  that  either .'' 

No,  I  haven't  heard  a  word  of  it.  [Shakes  him 
hy  the  orw.]  But,  my  dear  Hialmar,  I  can  t  tell 
you  what  pleasure  all  this  gives  me — pleasure,  and 
self-reproach.  1  have  perhaps  done  my  father 
injustice  after  all — in  some  things.  This  proves 
that  he  has  a  heart.  It  shows  a  sort  of  com- 


Compunction } 

Yes,  yes — whatever  you  like  to  call  it.     Oh,  I 
can't  tell  you  how  glad  I  am  to  hear  this  of  father. 

20'2  111  K     W  I  1.1)      1)1   (K. 

—  So  you  are  a  married  man,  Hialniar  !      Tlial   is 

further  tlian  I  shall  ever  pet.     Well,  I  hope   \ 

are  happy  in  your  married  life  ? 


Yes,  thoroughly  happy.  She  is  as  good  and 
capable  a  wife  as  any  man  could  wish  for.  Anil 
she  is  by  no  means  without  culture. 

[Rather  surprised.^     No,  of  course  not. 


You  see,  life  is  itself  an  education.     Her  daily 

intercourse  with  me And  then  we  know  one 

or  two  rather  remarkable  men,  who  come  a  good 
deal  about  us.  I  assure  you,  you  would  hardly 
know  Gina  again. 

Gina .'' 


Yes ;  had  you  forgotten  that  her  name  was 
Gina  } 


Whose  name .''     I  haven't  the  slightest  idea 


Don't  you   remember   that  she   used  to  i . 
service  here  ? 

[Looks  al  fimi.]     Is  it  (jina  Hansen .-* 


I'es,  of  course  it  is  Gina  Hansen. 

l.J  TUL     WILD     UUCK.  203 

-who  kept  house  for  us  during  the  last  year 

of  my  mother's  ilhiess  ? 


Yes,  exactly.     But,  my  dear  friend,  I'm  quite 
sure  your  father  told  you  that  I  was  married. 

[Who  has  risen.]     Oh  yes,  he  mentioned  it ;  but 

not  that [Walking  about  the  7-oo7n.]     Stay — 

perhaps  he  did — now  that  I  think  of  it.  My 
father  always  writes  such  short  letters.  [Half 
seats  himself  on  the  arm  of  the  chair.\  Now,  tell 
me,  Hialmar — this  is  intei'esting — how  did  you 
come  to  know  Gina — your  wife  } 

The  simplest  thing  in  the  world.  You  know 
Gina  did  not  stay  here  long  ;  everything  was  so 
much  upset  at  that  time,  owing  to  your  mother's 
illness  and  so  forth,  that  Gina  was  not  equal  to  it 
all ;  so  she  gave  notice  and  left.  That  was  the 
year  before  your  mother  died — or  it  may  have 
been  the  same  year. 

It  was  the  same  year.     I  was  up  at  the  works 
'^i   -^i    But  afterwards .'' 

Well,  Gina  lived  at  home  with  her  mother. 
Madam  Hansen,  an  excellent  hard-working 
woman,  who  kept  a  little  eating-house.  She 
had  a  room  to  let  too ;  a  very  nice  comfortable 

204  riiK    wiM)    i)r<  K.  [act  i. 


And  I  suppose  you  were  lucky  enough  to  se- 
cure it  ? 

I  ll.M.MAR. 

Yes  ;  in  fact,  it  was  your  father  that  recom- 
mended it  to  nie.  So  it  was  there,  you  see,  that 
I  really  came  to  know  Clina. 

And  then  you  got  engaged  ? 


Yes.  It  doesn't  take  young  people  long  to  fall 
in  love ;  h  m 


[Rises  and  moves  ahoid  a  little.]  Tell  me  :  was  it 
after  your  engagement — was  it  then  that  my 
father — I  mean  was  it  then  that  you  began  to 
take  up  photography  ? 

Yes,  precisely.  I  wanted  to  make  a  start,  and 
to  set  up  house  as  soon  as  possible  ;  and  your 
father  and  I  agreed  that  this  photography  business 
was  the  readiest  way.  Gina  thought  so  too.  Oh, 
and  there  was  anotlier  thing  in  its  favour,  by-the- 
bye  :  it  liapjjened,  luckily,  that  Gina  had  learnt 
to  retouch. 


That  chimed  in  marvellously. 

[Pleased,   rises.]      Yes,    didn't    it  ?      Don't  you 
think  it  was  a  n)arvellous  piece  of  luck  } 

act  i.]  the   wild   duck.  205 

Oh,  unquestionably.     My  father  seems  to  have 
been  almost  a  kind  of  providence  for  you. 


[With  emotion.^  He  did  not  forsake  his  old 
friend's  son  in  the  hour  of  his  need,  For  he  has  a 
heart,  you  see. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
[Enters,    arm-in-arm    with    Werle.]     Nonsense, 
my  dear  Mr.  Werle;  you   mustn't  stop  there  any 
longer  staring  at  all  the  lights.     It's  very  bad  for 

[Lets  go  her  ar7n  and  passes  his  hand  over  his  eyes.] 
I  daresay  you  are  right. 

[Pettersen    and  Jensen  ca7'}y  roimd  re- 
fi'eshment  trays.] 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
[To  the  Guests  in  the  other  room.]     This  way,  if 
you  please,  gentlemen.    Whoever  wants  a  glass  of 
punch  must  be  so  good  as  to  come  in  here. 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
[Comes  up  to  Mrs.  Sorby.]     Surely,  it  isn't  pos- 
sible   that  you    have   suspended     our    cherished 
right  to  smoke  } 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Yes.    No  smoking  here,  in  Mr.  Werle's  sanctum. 

The  Thin-haired  Gentleman. 
When  did  you   enact   these   stringent  amend- 
ments on  the  cigar  law,  Mrs.  Sorby .'' 

206'  TIN-;    wiM)    DUCK.  [act  I. 

Mus.   SttRBY. 

After  thf  last  diimer,  Clmniberlain,  when  certain 
persons  permitted  themselves  to  overstep  the 

The  TniN-HAiRED  Gentleman. 

And  may  one  never  overstep  the  mark  a  little 
bit,  Madame  Bertha.^     Not  the  least  little  bit? 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
Not  in  any  respect  whatsoever,  Mr.  Balle. 

[i\/o.s<  of  the  (iiies-ts  have  a.ssembled  in  the 
.stiichj ;  servants  hand  round  glasses  of 

We  RLE. 

[To  HiALMAR,  ivho  is  standing  beside  a  tahle.^ 
What  are  you  studyinj^  so  intently,  Ekdal  i* 


Only  an  album,  Mr,  Werle. 

The  Thin  MAinEn  Gentleman. 
[Who    is   wandering    about.]      \h,   photographs! 
They  are  quite  in  your  line  of  course. 

The   Flahuv  (ikatleman. 
[In  an  arm-chair.^     Haven't  you  brought  any  of 
your  own  with  you  } 

Hi  ALMA  H. 

No,  I  haven't. 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
You    ought   to   have  ;    it's    very    good    for   the 
digestion  to  sit  and  look  at  pictures. 

act  i.]  the   wild   duck.  207 

The  Thin-haired  Gentleman. 
And  it  contributes  to  the   entertainment,  you 

The  Short-sighted  Gentleman. 
And  all  contributions  are  thankfully  received. 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
The    Chamberlains    think    that    when    one    is 
invited  out  to  dinner,  one  ought  to  exert  oneself 
a  little  in  return,  Mr.  Ekdal. 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
Where  one  dines  so  well,  that  duty  becomes  a 

The  Thin-haired  Gentleman. 
And     when    it's    a    case    of    the    struggle    for 
existence,  you  know 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
I  quite  agree  with  you  ! 

[  They  continue  the  conversation,  with  laughter 
and  joking. 

[Softly.^     You  must  join  in,  Hialmar. 

[Writhing.']     What  am  I  to  talk  about.'' 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
Don't  you  think,  Mr.  Werle,  that  Tokay  may  be 
considered  one  of  the  more   wholesome  sorts  of 
wine  ? 


[By  the  Jive.']     I  can  answer  for  the  Tokay  you 

208  rnE   wii-D    nucK.  [ 

had  to-day,  at  any  rate ;    it's  of  one  of  the  very 
finest  seasons.     Of  course  you  would  notice  that. 

TiiK  Fi.vHnv  Gkntleman. 
Yes,  it  had  a  remarkably  delicate  flavour. 


[Shy/i/.]     Is  there  any  difference  between  the 
seasons  ? 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
[Laughs-I     Come !     That's  good  ! 

[Smiles.]     It  really  doesn't  pay  to  set  fine  wine 
before  you. 

The  Thin-haired   Gentleman. 
Tokay  is   like  photographs,  Mr.  Ekdal :    they 
both  need  sunshine.     Am  I  not  right  ? 

Yes,  light  is  important  no  doubt. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
And  it's  exactly  the  same  with  Chamberlains — 
they,  too,  depend  very  much  on  sunshine,'  as  the 
saying  is. 

The  Thin-haired  Gentleman. 
Oh  fie  !     That's  a  very  threadbare  sarcasm ! 

The  Short-sighted  Gentleman. 
Mrs.  Sorby  is  coming  out 

1  The  "sunshine"  of  Court  favour. 

act  i.]  the   wild   duck.  209 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
-and  at  our  expense,   too.      [Holds  up  his 

finger  reprovingly  J]     Oh,  Ma<lame  Bertha,  Madame 
Bertha  ! 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Yes,  and  there's  not  the  least  doubt   that  the 
seasons  differ  greatly.     The  old  vintages  are  the 

The  Short-sighted  Gentleman. 
Do  you  reckon  me  among  the  old  vintages  .'' 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Oh,  far  from  it. 

The  Thin-haiped  Gentleman. 
There  now  !     But  me,  dear  Mrs.  Sorby } 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
Yes,  and  me .''     What   vintage  should  you  say 
that  we  belong  to  } 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Why,  to  the  sweet  vintages,  gentlemen. 

\She  sips  a  glass  of  punch.      The  gentlemen 
laugh  and  Jiirt  with  her. 

Mrs.  Sorby  can  always  find  a  loop-hole — when 
she  wants  to.  Fill  your  glasses,  gentlemen  ! 
Pettersen,  will  you  see  to  it — —  !  Gregers,  sup- 
pose we  have  a  glass  together.  [Gregers  does  not 
move.^  Won't  you  join  us,  Ekdal  }  I  found  no 
opportunity  of  drinking  with  you  at  table. 

[Gr.Iberg,  the  Bookkeeper,  looks  in  at  the 
baize  door. 

210  TIIK     \VII,n     DUCK.  [a(- 

pjxouse  me,  sir,  but  I  can't  get  out. 

Have  3'ou  been  locked  in  again  ? 

Yes,  and  Flakstad  has  carried  off  the  keys. 

Well,  you  can  ])ass  out  this  way. 

But  there's  some  one  else 


All  right;  come  through,  both  of  you.  Don't 
be  afraid. 

[GrAberg  and  Old  Ekdal  come  out  of  ihe 


[Involiintorilj/.]     Ugh  ! 

\T/ic  laughter  and  talk  among  the  Guests 
cease.  Hl\lm.\u  .starts  at  the  sight  of 
his  father,  puts  down  his,  and  turns 
towards  the  fireplace. 


[Z)oe.¥  not  look  up,  hut  makes  little  bows  to  both  .sides 
as  he  passes,  murmuring.^  Beg  pardon,  come  the 
wrong  way.  Door  locked — door  locked.  Beg 

^He  and  GrAberg  go  out  bi/  the  back,  to 
the  right. "j 

lCT    I.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  211 

[Between  his  teeth.]     That  idiot  Grabei'g  I 

[Open-mouthed  and  staring,  to   Hialmar.]     Why 

surely  that  wasn't- 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
What's  the  matter  }     Who  was  it  } 

Oh,  nobody,  only  the  bookkeeper  and  some  one 
with  him. 

The  Short-sighted  Gentleman. 
[To  Hialmar.]     Did  you  know  that  man  } 

I  don't  know — I  didn't  notice 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
What  the  deuce  has  come  over  every  one  } 

[He  joins  another  group  who  are  talking 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
[Whispers  to  the  Servant.]     Give  him  something 
to  take  with  him  ; — something  good,  mind 

[Nods.]     I'll  see  to  it.  [Goes  out. 

[Softly  and  with  emotion,  to  Hialmar.]     So  that 
was  really  he ! 

212  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    I. 



And  you  could  stand  there  and  deny  that  you 
knew  him  I 


\^fV/iispers  vehementli/.]     But  how  could  I ' 

acknowledge  your  own  father  .'' 


[With  pain.]     Oh,  if  you  were  in  my  place 

[The  conversation  amongst  the  Guests,  which 
has  been  carried  on  in  a  low  tone,  now 
swells  into  constrained  joviality.] 

The  Thin-haired  Gentleman. 
[^Approaching  Hialmar  a7id  Gre(;ers  in  a  friendly 
manner.]     Aha  !      Reviving  old  college  memories, 
eh  ?     Don't  you  smoke,  Mr.  Ekdal  }     May  I  give 
you  a  light .''     Oh,  by-the-bye,  we  mustn't 

No,  thank  you,  I  won't 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
Haven't    you    a    nice    little    poem    you    coidd 
recite  to  us,  Mr.  Ekdal .''     You  used  to  recite  so 

I  am  sorry  I  can't  remember  anything. 

act  i.]  the  wild   duck.  213 

The  Flabby  Gentleman, 
Oh,  that's   a   pity.      Well,  what  shall   we    do, 
Balle  ? 

[Both  Gentlemen  move  away  and  pass  into 
the  other  room. 

\Gloomily.'\      Gregers — I  am  going  !      When  a 
man  has  felt  the  crushing  hand  of  Fate,  you  see 
Say  good-bye  to  your  father  for  me. 

Yes,  yes.     Are  you  going  straight  home  } 

Yes.     Why } 

Oh,    because    I   may  perhaps  look   in  on    you 

No,  you  mustn't  do  that.  You  must  not  come 
to  my  home.  Mine  is  a  melancholy  abode, 
Gregers  ;  especially  after  a  splendid  banquet 
like  this.  We  can  always  arrange  to  meet 
somewhere  in  the  town. 

Mrs.  Sorb  v. 
[Who  has  quietly  approached.^     Are  you  going, 
Ekdal  ? 


Mrs.  Sorby. 
Remember  me  to  Gina. 


THK     W  11.1)     DUCK.  [act    1. 



Mrs.  Sorby. 

And  say  I  am  coming  up  to  see  her  one  of  these 



Yes,  thank  you.     [To  Gregers.]     Stay  here  ;  I 
will  slip  out  unobserved. 

[He  saunters  amii/,  then  into  the  other  roovi, 
and  so  out  to  the  right. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
[Sojllt/  to  the  Servafit,  ivho  has  come  hack.']     Well, 
did  you  give  the  old  man  something  } 

Yes ;  I  sent  him  off  with  a  bottle  of  cognac. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Oh,   you  might   have    thought   of  something 
better  than  that. 

Oh  no,  Mrs.  Sorby;  cognac  is  what  he  likes 
best  in  the  world. 

The  Flabby  Gentleman. 
[In  the  doorway  with  a  sheet  of  music  in  his  hand.] 
Shall  we  play  a  duet,  Mrs.  Sorby  } 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Yes,  suppose  we  do. 

The  Guests. 
Bravo,  bravo ! 

[She  goes  tvith  all  the  Guests  through  the 
back   room,  out  to  the  right.     Gregers 

THE     WILD     DUCK.  215 

remains  standing  by  thejire.  Werle  is 
looking  fur  soinething  on  the  writing- 
table,  and  appears  to  trish  that  Gregers 
would  go ;  as  Gregers  does  not  move, 
Werle  goes  towards  the  door. 

Father,  won't  you  stay  a  moment .'' 

[Stops.]     What  is  it } 

I  must  have  a  woid  with  you. 

Can  it  not  wait  till  we  are  alone .'' 

No,  it  cannot ;  for  perhaps  we  shall  never  be 
alone  together. 

\Dra7inng  nearer.]     What  do  you  mean  by  that  } 
[During    what    follows,    the   pianoforte    is 
faintly  heard  from  the  distant  mtisic-room. 

How    has  that  family  been  allowed  to  go  so 
miserably  to  the  wall  ? 

You  mean  the  Ekdals,  I  suppose. 

Yes,  I  mean  the  Ekdals.    Lieutenant  Ekdal  was 
once  so  closely  associated  with  you. 

2l6  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    I, 

Much  too  closely  ;  I  have  felt  that  to  my  cost 
for  many  a  year.      It  is  thanks  to  him  that  I — yes 
/ — have  had  a  kind  of  slur  cast  upon  my  reputation. 

[Softly.]     Are  you  sure   that  he  alone  was  to 
blame  ? 


Who  else  do  you  suppose .'' 

You  and  he  acted  together  in  that  affair  of  the 



But  was  it  not  Ekdal  that  drew  the  map  of  the 
tracts  we  had  bought — that  fraudulent  map  !  It 
was  he  who  felled  all  that  timber  illegally  on 
Government  ground.  In  fact,  the  whole  manage- 
ment was  in  his  hands.  I  was  quite  in  the  dark  as 
to  what  Lieutenant  Ekdal  was  doing. 

Lieutenant  Ekdal  himself  seems  to  have  been 
very  much  in  the  dark  as  to  what  he  was  doing. 

That  may  be.     But  the  fact  remains  that  he  was 
found  guilty  and  I  acquitted. 

Yes,  I  know  that  nothing  was  proved  against 


Acquittal  is  acquittal.  Why  do  you  rake  up  these 

ACT    I.]  THE     WILD     UUCK.  217 

old  miseries  that  turned  my  hair  grey  before  its 
time  ?  Is  that  the  sort  of  thing  you  have  been 
brooding  over  up  there,  all  these  years  ?  I  can 
assure  you,  Gregers,  here  in  the  town  the  whole 
story  has  been  forgotten  long  ago — so  far  as  /am 

But  that  unhappy  Ekdal  family ' 

What  would  you  have  had  me  do  for  the  people  ? 
When  Ekdal  came  out  of  prison  he  was  a  broken- 
down  being,  past  all  help.  There  are  people  in> 
the  world  who  dive  to  the  bottom  the  moment 
they  get  a  couple  of  slugs  in  their  body,  and  never 
come  to  the  surface  again.  You  may  take  my  word 
For  it,  Gregers,  I  have  done  all  I  could  without 
positively  laying  myself  open  to  all  sorts  of  sus- 
picion and  gossip 

Suspicion ?     Oh,  I  see. 

I  have  given  Ekdal  copying  to  do  for  the  office, 
and  I  pay  him  far,  far  more  for  it  than  his  work  is 


[Without  looking  at  him.']     H'm  ;  that  I  don't 


You  laugh  .''  Do  you  think  I  am  not  telling 
you  the  truth  ^  Well,  I  certainly  can't  refer 
you  to  my  books,  for  I  never  enter  payments 
of  that  sort. 

'JKS  THE    WILD    UVVK.  [acT    I. 

[Smih'x  coldh/.]     So,  there  are  certain  payments 
it  is  best  to  keej)  no  account  of, 

[Taken  aback.]     What  ilo  you  mean  by  that  ? 

[Mustering  up  courage.]     Have  you  entered  what 
it    cost    you    to    have     Hialmar    Ekdal     taught 
protography  ? 


I  ?     How  "  entered  "  it  ? 

I  have  learnt  that  it  was  you  who  paid  (or  lii-, 
training.      And  I  have  learnt,  too,  that  it  was  you 
who  enabled  him  to  set  i\p  house  so  comfortably. 

Well,  and   yet  you   talk  as  though  I  had   done 
nothing  for  the  Ekdals  !      I  can  assure  you  these 
people  have  cost  me  enough  in  all  conscience. 

Have  you  entered  any  of  these  expenses  in  your 
books  ? 


Why  do  you  ask  r 

Oh,   I  have  my  reasons.      Now  tell  me  :   when 
you   interested   yourself   so  warmly   in   your  old 
friend's    son — it    was   just    before    his    marriage, 

was  it  not .'' 

act  i.]  the   wild   duck.  219 

Why,  deuce  take  it — after  all  these  years,  how 

can  I ? 

You  wrote  me  a  letter  about  that  time^a  busi- 
ness letter,   of  course  ;    and   in   a  postscript  you 
mentioned — quite  briefly — thatHialmarEkdal  had 
married  a  Miss  Hansen. 

Yes,  that  was  quite  right.    That  was  her  name. 

But  you  did  not  mention  that  this  Miss  Hansen 
was  Gina  Hansen — our  former  housekeeper. 

[^With  a  forced  laugh  of  derision.^      No  ;  to  tell 
the  truth,  it  didn't  occur  to  me  that  you  were  so 
particularly  interested  in  our  former  housekeeper. 

No  more   I   was.     But  [^loivers   his  voice]   there 
were  others  in  this  house  who  were  particularly 
interested  in  her. 

What  do  you  mean  by  that .''    [Flarifig  up.]    You 
are  not  alluding  to  me,  I  hope .'' 

[Sojily  hut  Jirmly.]     Yes,  I  am  alluding  to  you. 


And  you  dare '  You  presume  to '  How 

can  that   ungrateful    hound — that   photographer 
fellow — how  dare  he  go  making  such  insinuations  ' 

220  'IIIK     WILD     DIUK.  [act    1, 

Hialmar  has  never  breathed  a  word  about  this. 
I  don't  believe  he  lias  the  faintest  suspicion  of  such 
a  thing. 

We  RLE. 

Then  where  have  you  got  it  from  ?  VV^ho  can 
have  put  such  notions  in  your  head  .-' 

My  poor  unhappy  mother  told  me  ;  and  that  the 
very  last  time  I  saw  her. 

Your  mother  !     I  might  have  known  as  much  ' 
You  and  she — you  always  held  together.     It  was 
she  who  turned  you  against  me,  from  the  first. 


No,  it  was  all  that  she  had  to  suffer  and  submit 
to,  until  she  broke  down  and  came  to  such  a  pitiful 


Oh,  she  had  nothing  to  suffer  or  submit  to ;  not 
more  than  most  people,  at  all  events.  But  there's 
no  getting  on  with  morbid,  overstrained  creatures 
— that  I  have  learnt  to  my  cost. — And  you  could 
go  on  nursing  such  a  suspicion — burrowing  into  all 
sorts  of  old  rumours  and  slanders  against  your  own 
father  :  J  must  say,  Gregers,  I  really  think  that  at 
your  age  you  might  find  something  more  useful 
to  do. 

"*        Gregers. 

Yes,  it  is  high  time. 

Then  perhaps  your  mind  would  be  easier  than  it 

ACT    I.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  221 

seems  to  be  now.  What  can  be  your  object  in  re- 
maining up  at  the  works,  year  out  and  year  in, 
drudging  away  like  a  common  clerk,  and  not  draw- 
ing a  farthing  more  than  the  ordinary  monthly 
wage  .''     It  is  downright  folly. 

Ah,  if  I  were  only  sure  of  that. 

We  RLE. 

I  understand  you  well  enough.  You  want  to  be 
independent ;  you  won't  be  beholden  to  me  for 
anything.  Well,  now  there  happens  to  be  an 
opportunity  for  you  to  become  independent,  your 
own  master  in  everything. 

Indeed  .''     In  what  way ? 

When  I  wrote  you  insisting  on  your  coming  to 
town  at  once — h'm 

Yes,  what  is  it  you  really  want  of<  me  .''    I  have 
been  waiting  all  day  to  know. 

I  want  to  propose  that  you  should  enter  the 
firm,  as  partner. 

I  •     Join  your  firm  ?     As  partner  .<* 

Yes.     It  would  not  involve  our  being  constantly 

222  THE    UILD     DICK.  [aCT    I. 

tonjether.     You  could  take  over  the  business  here 
in  town,  and  I  should  move  up  to  the  works. 

You  would.'' 

The  fact  is,  I  am   not   so  fit  for  work  as  I  once 
was.     I  am   obliged   to  spare   my  eyes,  Gregers ; 
they  have  begun  to  trouble  me. 

They  have  always  been  weak. 

Not  as  they  are  now.     And  besides,  circum- 
stances might  possibly  make  it  desirable  for  me  to 
live  up  there — for  a  time,  at  any  rate. 

That  is  certainly  quite  a  new  idea  to  me. 

Listen,  Gregers :  there  are   many  things  that 
stand  between  us  ;  but  we  are  father  and  son  after 
all.     We  ought  surely  to  be  able  to  come  to  some 
sort  of  understanding  with  each  other. 

Outwardly,  you  mean,  of  course  } 

Well,  even  that  would  be  something.     Think  it 
over,  Gregers.      Don't  you  think  it  ought  to  be 

possible  ?     Eh  .'' 

act  i.]  the  wild   duck.  22s 

[Looking   at   him   coldly.^      There  is   something 
behind  all  this. 

How  so  ? 

You  want  to  make  use  of  me  in  some  way. 

In  such  a  close  relationship  as  ours,  the  one  can 
always  be  useful  to  the  other. 

Yes,  so  people  say. 

I  want  very  much  to  have  you  at  home  with  me 
for  a  time.  I  am  a  lonely  man  Gregers ;  I  have 
always  felt  lonely,  all  my  life  through  ;  but  most 
of  all  now  that  I  am  getting  up  in  years.  I  feel 
the  need  of  some  one  about  me 

You  have  Mrs.  Sorby. 

Yes,  I  have  her  ;  and  she  has  become,  I  may  say, 
almost  indispensable  to  me.    She  is  lively  and  even- 
tempered  ;  she  brightens  up  the  house  ;  and  that 
is  a  very  great  thing  for  me. 

Well  then,  you  have    everything  just  as  you 
wish  it. 

224  THE   wii.i)   DICK.  [act  i. 

Yes,  but  I  am  afraid  it  can't  last.     A  woman  so 
situated  may  easily  find  herself  in  a  false  position, 
in  the  eyes  of  the  world.     For  that  matter  it  does 
a  man  no  good,  either. 

Oh,  when  a  man  gives  such  dinners  as  you  give, 
he  can  risk  a  great  deal. 


Yes,  but  how  about  the  woman,  Gregers  ?     I 

fear  she  won't  accept  the  situation  much  longer ; 

and    even  if  she  did — even   if,  out  of  attachment 

to  me,  she  were  to  take  her  chance  of  gossip  and 

scandal  and  all  that ?      Do  you  think,  Gregers 

— you  with  your  strong  sense  of  justice 

[Interrupts  Am.]     Tell  me  in  one  word  :  are  you 
thinking  of  marrying  her  ? 

Suppose  I  were  thinking  of  it .''     What  then  .'' 

That's  what  I  say  :  what  then  > 

Should  you  be  inflexibly  opposed  to  it ! 

Not  at  all.     Not  by  any  means. 

I  was  not  sure  whether  your  devotion  to  your 
mothers  memory 

act  i.]  the  wild  duck.  225 

I  am  not  overstrained. 

Well,  whatever  you  may  or  may  not  be,  at  all 
events   you   have  lifted  a  great  weight  from  my 
mind.      I  am  extremely  pleased  that  I  can  reckon 
on  your  concurrence  in  this  matter. 

[Looking  intently  at  him.]     Now  I   see  the  use 
you  want  to  put  me  to. 

Use  to  put  you  to  }     What  an  expression  ! 

Oh,  don't  let  us  be  nice  in  our  choice  of  words 
— not  when  we  are  alone  together,  at  any  rate. 
[With  a  short  laugh.]  Well  well  !  So  this  is  what 
made  it  absolutely  essential  that  1  should  come  to 
town  in  person.  For  the  sake  of  Mrs.  Sorby,  we 
are  to  get  up  a  pretence  at  family  life  in  the  house 
— a  tableau  of  filial  affection  !  That  will  be 
something  new  indeed. 

How  dare  you  speak  in  that  tone ! 

Was  there  ever  any  family  life  here .''  Never 
since  I  can  remember.  But  now,  forsooth,  your 
plans  demand  something  of  the  sort.  No  doubt 
it  will  have  an  excellent  effect  when  it  is  reported 
that  the  son  has  hastened  home,  on  the  wings 
of  filial  piety,  to  the  grey-haired  father's  wedding- 
feast.     What  will  then  remain  of  all  the  rumours 

226  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [atT    1. 

as  to  the  wrongs  the  poor  dead  mother  had  to 
submit  to?  Not  a  vestige.  Her  son  annihilates 
them  at  one  stroke. 

Gregers — I  believe  there  is  no  one  in  the  world 
you  detest  as  you  do  me. 

[Sojlly.]     I  have  seen  you  at  too  close  quarters. 

You   have  seen  me  with  your  mother's  eyes. 
[Lotvers  his  voice  a  little.]     But  you  should  remem- 
ber that  her  eyes  were — clouded  now  and  then. 

[Quiveri7ig.]      I  see  what  you  are   hinting  at. 
But  who  was  to  blame   for  mother's  unfortunate 

weakness  ?     Why  you,  and  all   those !     The 

last  of  them  was  this  woman  that  you  palmed  off 
upon  Hialmar  Ekdal,  when  you  were Ugh  ! 


[Shnigs  his  shoulders.]     Word  for  word  as  if  it 
were  your  mother  speaking  ! 

\Without  heeding.]  And  there  he  is  now,  with 
his  great,  confiding,  childlike  mind,  compassed 
about  with  all  this  treachery — living  under  the 
same  roof  with  such  a  creature,  and  never  dream- 
ing that  what  he  calls  his  home  is  built  upon  a 
lie !  [Coynes  a  step  nearer.]  When  I  look  back 
upon  your  past,  1  seem  to  see  a  battle-field  with 
shattered  lives  on  every  hand. 

act  1.]  the  wild  duck.  227 

I  begin  to  think  the  chasm  that  divides  us  is 
too  wide. 

[Bowing,    with     self-command.^       So     I     have 
observed  ;  and  therefore  I  take  my  hat  and  go. 

You  are  going !     Out  of  the  house  ? 

Yes.     For  at  last  I  see  my  mission  in  life. 

What  mission  ? 

You  would  only  laugh  if  I  told  you. 

A  lonely  man  doesn't  laugh  so  easily,  Gregers. 

[Pointing  towards  the  background.^     Look,  father, 
— the  Chamberlains  are  playing    blind-man's-buff 
with  Mrs.  Sorby. — Good-night  and  good-bye. 

[He  goes  out  by  the  back  to  the  right. 
Sounds  of  laughter  and  merriment  frotn 
the  Company,  who  are  now  visible  iti  the 
outer  room. 

[Muttering  contemptuously  after  Gregers  ]      Ha 
'     Poor  wretch — and  he  says  he  is  not  over- 

strained ! 


HiALMAii  ]iKi)Ai/s  studio,  (I g()ud-sir:i'(l  room,  evident ly 
in  the  top  storeif  of  the  building.  On  the  right, 
a  sloping  roof  of  large  panes  of  glass,  half- 
covered  hy  a  blue  curtain.  In  the  right-hand 
corner,  at  the  back,  the  entrance  door ;  farther 
forward,  on  the  same  side,  a  door  leading  to  the 
sitting-room.  Two  doors  on  the  opposite  side, 
and  between  them  an  iron  stove.  At  the  back,  a 
wide  double  sliding-door.  The  studio  is  plainly 
but  comfortablii Jilted  up  and  furnished.  Between 
the  doors  on  the  right,  standing  out  a  little  fro7n 
the  wall,  a  .sofa  with  a  table  and  some  chairs  ;  on 
the  table  a  lighted  lamp  with  a  shade  ;  beside  the 
stove  an  old  arm-chair.  Photographic  imstrii- 
ments  and  apparatus  of  different  kinds  lying 
about  the  room.  Against  the  back  wall,  to  the 
left  of  the  double  door,  stands  a  bookcase  contain- 
ing a  few  books,  boxes,  and  bottles  of  chemicals, 
instruments,  tools,  and  other  object's.  Photo- 
graphs and  small  articles,  such  as  camel's-  hair 
pencils,  paper,  and  .so  forth,  lie  on  the  table. 
GiNA  Ekdal  sits  on  a  chair  by  the  tab'e,  sewing. 
Hedvig  is  sitting  on  the  sofa,  with  her  hands 
shading  her  eyes  and  Iter  thumbs  in  her  ears, 
reading  a  book. 


[Glances  once  or  twice  at  Hkdvio,  r/.y  j'/"  vith  secret 
anjciety  ;  then  says  .•]   Hedvig  ! 

ACT    II.]  THE    \V]I,D     DUCK.  229 


[Does  not  hear.^ 


[Repeats  more  loiidlj/.]     Hedvig ! 

[  Takes  arvay  her  hands  and  looks  tip.  ]  Yes,  moth  er  ? 


Hedvig  dear,  you  mustn't  sit  reading  any 
longer  now. 


Oh  mother,  mayn't  I  read  a  little  more  ?  Just 
a  little  bit  ? 


No  no,  you  must  put  away  your  book  now. 
Father  doesn't  like  it ;  he  never  reads  hisself  in 
the  evening. 


[Shuts  the  book.]  No,  father  doesn't  care  much 
about  reading. 


[Puts  aside  her  setving  and  takes  up  a  lead  pencil 
and  a  little  account-book  from  the  table.]  Can  you  re- 
member how  much  we  paid  for  the  butter  to-day  ? 

It  was  one  crown  sixty-five. 


That's  right.  [Puts  it  dotvn.]  It's  terrible  what 
a  lot  of  butter  we  get  through  in  this  house. 
Then  there  was  the  smoked  sausage,  and  the 
cheese — let  me  see — [IVritcv] — and  the  ham — 
[Adds  up.]     Yes,  that  makes  just 

230  TIIK     UIM)     DIUK.  [act    I(. 

And  then  the  beer. 


Yes,  to  be  sure.  [  Writes.]  How  it  do  mount 
up  !     But  we  can't  manage  with  no  less. 

And  then  you  and  I  didn't  need  anything  hot 
for  dinner,  as  father  was  out. 


No  ;  that  was  so  much  to  the  good.  And  then 
I  took  eight  crowns  fifty  for  the  photographs. 

Really  !     So  much  as  that  ? 


Exactly  eight  crowns  fifty. 

\^Silence.  (jina  lakes  up  her  sewing  again, 
Hedvig  takes  paper  aiid  pencil  and  begins 
to  draw,  shading  her  eyes  with  her  left 

Isn't  it  jolly  to  think  that  father  is  at  Mr.  Werle's 
big  dinner-party  } 


You  know  he's  not  really  Mr.  Werle's  guest. 
It  was  the  son  invited  him.  [After  a  pause.]  We 
have  nothing  to  do  with  that  Mr.  Werle, 

I'm  longing  for  father  to  come  home.     He  pro- 
mised to  ask  Mrs.  Sorby  for  something  nice  for  me. 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  231 


Yes,  there's  plenty  of  good  things  going  in  that 
house,  I  can  tell  you. 

\^Goes  071  drawing.^     And  I  believe  I'm  a  little 
hungry  too.^ 

[Old  Ekdal,  with  the  paper  parcel  under  his 
ann  and  another  parcel  in  his  coat  pocket, 
comes  in  by  the  entraiice  door. 


How  late  you  are  to-day,  grandfather  ! 

They  had  locked  the  office  door.     Had  to  wait 
in  Graberg's  room.     And  then  they  let  me  through 
— h'm. 


Did  you  get  some  more  copying  to  do,  grand- 
father } 


This  whole  packet.     Just  look. 


That's  capital. 

And  you  have  another  parcel  in  your  pocket. 

Eh  }  Oh  never  mind,  that's  nothing.  [Puts  his 
stick  away  in  a  corjier.']  This  work  will  keep  me  going 
a  long  time,  Gina.  \Opens  one  of  the  sliding-doors 
in  the  hack  wall  a  little!]  Hush  !  [Peeps  into  the  room 
for  a  moment,  then  pushes  the  door  carefully  to  again.]. 

2.'i2  riiK    wiM)    DUCK.  [act   II. 

Hee-hee  !    They're  fast  asleep,  all  the  lot  of  them. 
And  she's  gone  into  the  basket  herself.     Hee-hee  ! 

Are  you  sure  she  isn't  cold  in  that  basket,  grand- 
father } 

Not  a  bit  of  it  !     Cold  ?     With  all  that  straw  ? 
[Goes  towards  the  farther  door  on  the  left.^    There  are 
matches  in  here,  I  suppose. 


The  matches  is  on  the  drawers, 

[Ekdal  goes  into  his  room. 

It's   nice   that    grandfather    has   got   all   that 

Yes,  poor  old  father  ;  it  means  a  bit  of  pocket- 
money  for  him. 

And  he  won't  be  able  to  sit  the  whole  forenoon 
down  at  that  horrid  Madam  Eriksen's. 

No  more  he  won't.  [ShoH  silence. 

Do  you  suppose  they  are  still  at  the  dinner- 
table  ? 

Goodness  knows  ;  as  like  as  not. 

Think  of  all  the  delicious  things  father  is  havi" 

ACT    II.]  THE     WILD     DUCK.  233 

to  eat  !     I'm   certain  he'll   be  in  splendid  spirits 
when  he  comes.     Don't  you  think  so,  mother  ? 


Yes  ;  and  if  only  we  could  tell  him  that  we'd  got 

the  room  let • 


But  we  don't  need  that  this  evening. 


Oh,  we'd  be  none  the  worse  of  it,  I  can  tell  you. 
It's  no  use  to  us  as  it  is. 

I  mean  we  don't  need  it  this  evening,  for  father 
will  be  in  a  good  humour  at  any  rate.     It  is  best 
to  keep  the  letting  of  the  room  for  another  time. 


\L.ooks  across  at  her.]  You  like  having  some  good 
news  to  tell  father  when  he  comes  home  in  the 
evening  ? 


Yes  ;  for  then  things  are  pleasanter  somehow. 


[Thinking  to  herself.]  Yes,  yes,  there's  some- 
thing in  that. 

[Old  Ekdal  comes   in  again  and  is  going 
out  by  the  foremost  door  to  the  left. 


[Half  turning  m  her  chair.]  Do  you  want  some- 
thing out  of  the  kitchen,  grandfather  } 

Yes,  yes,  I  do.     Don't  you  trouble.       [Goes  out. 

234  TMK     WILD     DUCK.  TaCT 


He's  not  poking  away  at  the  fire,  is  he  ?    [Waits 
a  mo7nent.]     Hedvig,  go  and  see  what  he's  about. 
[Ekdal  comes  in  again  ti'ith  a  small  jug  of 
steaming  hoi  water. 

Have  you  been  getting  some  hot  water,  grand- 
father } 


Yes,  hot  water.  Want  it  for  something.  Want 
to  write,  and  the  ink  has  got  as  thick  as  porridge. 
— h'm. 


But  you'd  best  have  your  supper,  first,  grand- 
father.     It's  laid  in  tliere. 

Can't  be  bothered  with  supper,  Gina.      Very 
busy,  I  tell  you.     No  one's  to  come  to  my  room. 
No  one — h'm. 

[He  goes  into  his  room  ;  Gina  and  Hedvig 
look  at  each  other. 


[Softly.]  Can  you  imagine  where  he's  got  money 
from  ? 


From  Graberg,  perhaps. 

Not  a  bit  of  it.     Graberg  always  sends  the  money 
to  me. 


Then  he  must  have  got  a  bottle  on  credit  some- 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  235 


Poor  grandfather,  who'd  give  him  credit  } 

HiALMAR  Ekdal,  ifi  an  overcoat  and  grey  felt  hat, 
comes  in  from  the  right. 


[Throws    down    her    sewing    and    rises J\      Why, 
Ekdal.     Is  that  you  already .'' 

[At  the  same  time  jumping  np.'\  Fancy  your  coming 
so  soon,  father ! 


[Taking  off  his  hat.']     Yes,  most  of  the  people 
were  coming  away. 

So  early  } 


Yes,  it  was  a  dinner-party,  you  know. 

[Is  taking  off  his  overcoat. 


Let  me  help  you. 

Me  too. 

[They  draw  off  his  coat  ;  Gin  a  hangs  it  up 
on  the  back  wall. 

Were  there  many  people  there,  father  ? 


Oh  no,  not  many.     We  were  about  twelve  or 
fourteen  at  table. 


236  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    II. 


And  you  had  some  talk  with  them  all  ? 


Oh  yes,  a  little  ;  but  Gregers  took  me  up  most  of 
the  time. 


Is  Gregers  as  ugly  as  ever .-' 


Well,  he's  not  very  much  to  look  at.     Hasn't  the 
old  man  come  home  ? 


Yes,  grandfather  is  in  his  room,  writing. 


Did  he  say  anything  ? 


No,  what  should  he  say  ? 


Didn't   he  say  anything  about .''     I   heard 

something  about   his  having  been  with  Graberg. 
I'll  go  in  and  see  him  for  a  moment. 


No,  no,  better  not. 


Why  not  ?     Did  he  say  he  didn't  want  me  to  go 


I   don't  think   he   wants   to    see    nobody  this 

act  11.]  the   wild   duck.  237 

[Making  signs.]     H'm — h'm  ! 


[Not  ?ioticitig.]     he  has  been  in  to  fetch  hot 

water — ^ — 


Aha  I     Then  he's 


Yes,  I  suppose  so. 


Oh  God  !  my  poor  old  white-haired  father ! — 
Well,  well  ;  there  let  him  sit  and  get  all  the  en- 
joyment he  can. 

[Old  Ekdal,  in  an  indoor  coat  and  with  a 
lighted  pipe,  comes  from  his  room. 

Got   home }      Thought   it   was    you    I    heard 


Yes,  I  have  just  come. 

You  didn't  see  me,  did  you  ? 


No ;  but  they  told  me  you  had  passed  through 
— so  I  thought  I  would  follow  you. 

H'm,  good  of  you,  Hialmar. — Who  were  they, 
all  those  fellows  } 

Oh,  all  sorts  of  people.     There  was  Chamber- 

238  THE    WILD     DLCK.  [aCT    11. 

lain  Flor,  and  Chamberlain  Balle,  and  Chamberlain 
Kaspersen,  and  Chamberlain — this,  that,  ;:nd  the 
other — I  don't  know  who  all— • 

[Nodding.]      Hear  that,  Gina !      Chamberlains 
every  one  of  them  ! 

Yes,  I  hear  as  they're  terrible  genteel  in  that 
house  nowadays. 

Did  the  Chamberlains  sing,    father }     Or   did 
they  read  aloud  ? 


No,  they  only  talked  nonsense.  They  wanted 
me  to  recite  something  for  them  ;  but  I  knew 
better  than  that. 


You  weren't  to  be  persuaded,  eh  ? 


Oh^  you  might  have  done  it. 

No  ;  one  mustn't  be  at  everybody's  beck  and 
call.     [IValk.s about  the  room.]     That's  not  my  way, 
at  any  rate. 

No  no  ;  Hialmar's  not  to  be  had  for  the  asking, 
he  isn't. 

I  don't  see  why  /  should   bother   myself  to 
entertain  people  on  the  rare  occasions  when  I  go 
into  society.     Let  the  others  exert   themselves. 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  239 

These  fellows  go  from  one  great  dinner-table  to 
the  next  and  gorge  and  guzzle  day  out  and  day 
in.  It's  for  them  to  bestir  themselves  and  do 
something  in  return  for  all  the  good  feeding  they 

get-  ^ 


But  you  didn't  say  that .'' 


[Humming.]    Ho  ho-ho — —  ;  faith,  I  gave  them 
a  bit  of  my  mind. 


Not  the  Chamberlains .'' 

Oh,  why  not  .^     [Ligkt/y.]     After  that,  we  had 
a  little^discussion  about  Tokay. 

Tokay  I     There's  a  fine  wine  for  you  ! 

[Comes  to  a  standstill.]     It  may  be  a  fine  wine. 
But  of  course  you  know  the  vintages  differ ;  it  all 
depends  on  how  much  sunshine  the  grapes  have 


Why,  you  know  everything,  Ekdal. 

And  did  they  dispute  that  ? 

They  tried  to  ;    but  they  were  requested   to 
observe  that  it  was  just  the  same  with  Chamber- 

240  TiiF.    wii.i)    niTK.  [act  II 

lains — that  with  them,  too,  different  batches  were 
of  different  ([iialities. 


What  things  you  do  think  of! 

Hee-hee  !     So  they  got  that  in  their  pipes  too? 


Right  in  their  teeth. 

Do  you  hear  that,  (lina  ?     He  said  it  right  in 
the  very  teeth  of  all  the  Chamberlains. 


Fancy !     Right  in  their  teeth  ! 

Yes,  but  I  don't  want  it  talked  about.  One 
doesn't  speak  of  such  things.  The  whole  affair 
passed  off  quite  amicably  of  course.  They  were 
nice,  genial  fellows  ;  I  didn't  want  to  wound  them 
—not  I  ! 

Right  in  their  teeth,  though ! 

[Caressinglj/.]     How  nice  it  is  to  see  you  in  a 
dress  coat  I     It  suits  you  so  well,  father. 

HiAI.M  \R. 

Yes,  don't  you  think  so  ?  And  this  one  really 
sits  to  perfection.  It  fits  almost  as  if  it  had  been 
made  for  me  ; — a  little  tight  in  the  arm-holes 
perhaps  ; — help  me,  Hedvig.     [7'a/ce.s  off  the  coat.^ 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  241 

I  think  I'll  put  on  my  jacket.    Where  is  my  jacket, 
Gina .'' 


Here  it  is.     [^Brings  the  jacket  and  kelps  him.^ 


That's  it !     Don't  forget  to  send  the  coat  back 
to  Molvik  first  thing  to-morrow  morning. 


[Laying  it  arvay.l     I'll  be  sure  and  see  to  it. 

[Stretching  himself.^     After  all,   there's  a  more 
homely  feeling  about  this.     A  free-and-easy  in- 
door costume  suits  my  whole  personality  better. 
Don't  you  think  so,  Hedvig  ? 

Yes,  father. 

When  I  loosen  my  necktie  into  a  pair  of  flowing 
ends — like  this — eh  .'' 

Yes,  that  goes  so  well  with  your  moustache  and 
the  sweep  of  your  curls. 

I  should  not  call  them  curls  exactly  ;  I  should 
rather  say  locks. 


Yes,  they  are  two  big  for  curls. 

Locks  describes  them  better. 

242  TiiF,  wii.n   nucK.  [act  ii. 


[After  a  pause,  twitching  his  jacket. 1     Father . 


Well,  what  is  it? 

Oh,  you  know  very  well. 


No,  really  I  don't 


[Half  laughing,  halfirhlmpcring.]  Oh  yes,  father  ; 
now  don't  tease  me  any  longer ! 


Why,  what  do  you  mean  .'' 

[Shaking  hiyn.]    Oh  what  nonsense  ;  come,  where 
are  they,  father .''     All  the  good  things  you  pro- 
mised me,  you  know  ? 


Oh— if  I  haven't  forgotten  all  about  them ! 

Now  you're  only  teasing  me,  father!     Oh,  it's 
too  bad  of  you  I     Where  have  you  put  them  } 


No,  I  positively  forgot  to  get  anything.  But 
wait  a  little  !  I  have  something  else  for  you, 

[Goes  and  searches  in  the  pockets  of  the  coal. 

act  ii.]  the  wild   duck.  s4i3 


[Skipping  and  clapping  her  hands.]  Oh  mother, 
mother  I 


There,  you  see  ;  if  you  only  give  him  time 


[With  a  paper.]     Look,  here  it  is. 

That  ?     Why,  that's  only  a  paper. 


That  is  the  bill  of  fare,  my  dear ;  the  whole  bill 
of  fare.  Here  you  see  :  "  Menu  " — that  means 
bill  of  fare. 


Haven't  you  anything  else  ? 


I  forgot  the  other  things,  I  tell  you.  But  you 
may  take  my  word  for  it,  these  dainties  are  very 
unsatisfying.  Sit  down  at  the  table  and  read  the 
bill  of  fare,  and  then  I'll  describe  to  you  how  the 
dishes  taste.     Here  you  are,  Hedvig. 

[Gulping  down  her  tears.]     Thank  you. 

[She  seats  herself,  but  does  not  read  ;  Gina 
makes  signs  to  her  ;  Hialmar  notices  it. 


[Pacing  up  and  down  the  room.]  It's  monstrous 
what  absurd  things  the  father  of  a  family  is  ex- 
pected to  think  of;  and  if  he  forgets  the  smallest 

2*4  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    II. 

trifle,  he  is  treated  to  sour  faces  at  once.  Well, 
well,  one  gets  used  to  that  too.  [Slops  near  the 
siovc,  hif  the  old  mnu\s  r//rt/r.]  Have  you  peeped  in 
there  this  evening,  father  ? 

Yes,  to  be  sure  I  have.     She's  gone  into  the 


Ah,  she  has  gone  into  the  basket.     Then  she's 
beginning  to  get  used  to  it. 

Yes;  just  as  I  prophesied.     But  you  know  there 
are  still  a  few  little  things- 


A  few  improvements,  yes. 

They've  got  to  be  made,  you  know. 


Yes,  let  us  have  a  talk  about  the  improvements, 
father.     Come,  let  us  sit  on  the  sofa. 

All    right.      H'm — think    111  just  fill   my  pipe 
first.      Must  clean  it  out,  too.      H'm. 

[He  goes  into  his  room. 

Gin  A. 
[Smiling  to  Hialmar.]     His  pipe  ! 


Oh    yes  yes,   Gina  ;    let  him  alone— the  poor 

ACT    II.]  TllK     WILD     DUCK.  245 

shipwrecked  old  man. — Yes,  these  improvements 
— we  had  better  get  them  out  of  hand  to-morrow. 


You'll  hardly  have  time  to  morrow,  Ekdal. 

[Interposing.]     Oh  yes  he  will,  mother ! 


-«.i .  for  remember  them  prints  that  has  to  be 
retouched ;  they've  sent  ibr  them  time  after  time. 


There  now  !  those  prints  again  !  I  shall  get 
them  finished  all  right !  Have  any  new  orders 
come  in  ? 

Gin  A. 

No,  worse  luck  ;  to-morrow  I  have  nothing  but 
those  two  sittings,  you  know. 


Nothing  else.''  Oh  no,  if  people  won't  set  about 
things  with  a  will 


But  what  more  can  I  do  ?  Don't  I  advertise  in 
the  papers  as  much  as  we  can  afford  ? 


Yes,  the  papers,  the  papers  ;  you  see  how  much 
good  they  do.  And  I  suppose  no  one  has  been  to 
look  at  the  room  either  ? 


No,  not  yet. 

246  TllK    WIM)     DUCK.  [act    II. 


That  was  only  to  be  expected.     If  people  won't 

keep  their  eyes  open -.     Nothing  can  be  done 

without  a  real  effort,  Gina ! 

[Going  towards  kim.\     Shall  I  fetch  you  the  flute, 
father } 


No  ;  no  flute  for  me  ;  /  want  no  pleasures  in 
this  world.  [Pacing  aboiit.]  Yes,  indeed  I  will 
work  to-morrow  ;  you  shall  see  if  I  don't.  You 
may  be  sure  I  shall  work  as  long  as  my  strength 
holds  out. 


But  my  dear  good  Ekdal,  I  didn't  mean  it  in 
that  way. 

Father,  mayn't  I  bring  in  a  bottle  of  beer? 


No,  certainly  not.  I  require  nothing,  no- 
thing      [Comes  to  a  standstill.]     Beer  ?     'V\'as 

it  beer  you  were  talking  about  ? 

[Cheerfully.]     Yes,  father ;  beautiful  fresh  beer. 


Well — since  you  insist  upon  it,  you  may  bring 
in  a  bottle. 


Yes,  do ;  and  we'll  be  nice  and  cosy. 

[Hedvig  runs  tumirds  the  kitchen  dour. 


ACT    II.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  247 


[By  the  stove,  stops  her,  looks  at  her,  puts  his  arm 
round  her  neck  and  presses  her  to  hirn.]  Hedvig, 
Hedvig ! 


[  With  tears  of  joy. ^     My  dear,  kind  father  ! 


NOj  don't  call  me  that.  Here  have  I  been 
feasting  at  the  rich  man's  table, — battening  at  the 
groaning  board—— !     And  I  couldn't  even ! 


[Sitting  at  the  table.]  Oh  nonsense,  nonsense, 


It's  not  nonsense  !  And  yet  you  mustn't  be 
too  hard  upon  me.  You  know  that  I  love  you  for 
all  that. 


[Throwing  her  arms  round  him.]  And  we  love 
you,  oh  so  dearly,  father! 


And  if  I  am  unreasonable  once  in  a  while, — why 
then — you  must  remember  that  I  am  a  man  beset 
by  a  host  of  cares.  There,  there  !  [Dries  his  eyes.] 
No  beer  at  such  a  moment  as  this.  Give  me  the 

[Hedvig  rujis  to  the  bookcase  and  fetches  it. 


Thanks  !      That's  right.     With  my  flute  in  my 

hand  and  you  two  at  my  side — ah ! 

[Hedvig  seats  herself  at  the  table  near  Gina  ; 

248  TIIK     WILD     Die  K.  [act    II. 

HiALMAR  paces  hackivards  and  furirardx, 
pipes  up  vigoruus/i/,  and  plays  a  Buheinian 
peasant  dance,  but  in  a  slow  plaintive 
tempo,  and  with  sentimental  expression. 


[Breaking  off' the  melody,  holds  out  his  left  hand  to 
Gin  A,  and  says   ti'ith  emotion  .]     Our  roof  ni;iy  be 
poor   and    humble,  Giiia ;  but  it   is   home.     And 
with  all  my  heart  I  say  :  here  dwells  my  happiness. 
[He   begins   to  j)lay   again  ;   almost  imme- 
diately fij'ter,  a  knocking   is  heard  at  the 
entrance  door. 


[Rising.]     Hush,  Ekdal, — I  think  there's  some 
one  at  the  door. 


[Laying    the    flute    on    the    bookcase.]      There  ! 
Again  !  [GiNAgoe*  and  opens  the  door. 

Gregers  Werle. 
[In  the  passage.]     Excuse  me 


[Starting  back  slightly.]     Oh  ! 

-does  not  Mr.  Ekdal,  the  photographer,  live 

here  ? 

Yes,  he  does. 


[Going  towards  the  door.]     Gregers!     You  here 
after  all  .''     Well,  come  in  then. 

act  ii.]  the  wild   ducr.  241) 

[Coming  in.]     I  told  you  I  would  come  and  look 
you  up. 


But    this  evening ?      Have   you    left   the 

party  .'' 


I  have  left  both  the  party  and  my  father's 
house. — Good  evening,  Mrs.  Ekdal.  I  don't  know 
whether  you  recognise  me  .'' 


Oh  yes  ;  it's  not  difficult  to  know  young  Mr. 
Werle  again. 


No,  I  am  like  my  mother ;  and  no  doubt  you 
remember  her. 


Left  your  father's  house,  did  you  say  ^ 

Yes,  1  have  gone  to  a  hotel. 


Indeed.  Well,  since  you're  here,  take  off  your 
coat  and  sit  down. 


[He  takes  off  his  overcoat.    He  is  now  dressed 
in  a  plain  grey  suit  of  a  coimtiijied  cut. 


Here,  on  the  sofa.     Make  yourself  comfortable. 
[Gregers    seats    himself    on     the    sofa; 
HiALMAR  takes  a  chair  at  the  table. 

250  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [acT    II. 

[Looking  around  him.]  So  these  are  your  quarters, 
Hialmar — this  is  your  home. 


This  is  the  studio,  as  you  see 


But  it's  the  largest  of  our  rooms,  so  we  generally 
sit  here. 


We  used  to  live  in  a  better  place  ;  but  this  flat 
has  one  great  advantage  :  there  are  such  capital 
outer  rooms 


And  we  have  a  room  on  the  other  side  of  the 
passage  that  we  can  let. 

[To  Hialmar.]     Ah — so  you  have  lodgers  too  ? 

No,  not  yet.     They're  not  so  easy  to  find,  von 
see;    you    have   to  keep  your   eyes   open.     (To 
Hedvig.]     What  about  that  beer,  eh  ? 

[Hedvig  nods  and  goes  out  into  the  kitchen. 

So  that  is  your  daughter .'' 

Yes,  that  is  Hedvig. 

And  she  is  your  only  child  ? 


ACT    11.]  THE     WILD     DUCK.  251 


Yes,  the  only  one.  She  is  the  joy  of  our  Hves, 
and — [loweri?ig  his  voice] — at  the  same  time  our 
deepest  son-ow,  Gregers. 

What  do  you  mean  ? 


She  is  in  serious  danger  of  losing  her  eyesight. 

Becoming  blind  .'' 


Yes.  Only  the  first  symptoms  have  appeared 
as  yet,  and  she  may  not  feel  it  much  for  some 
time.  But  the  doctor  has  warned  us.  It  is  com- 
ing, inexorably. 


What  a  terrible  misfortune  !  How  do  you 
account  for  it  ? 


[Sighs.]     Hereditary,  no  doubt. 

[Starling.]     Hereditary  ? 


Ekdal's  mother  had  weak  eyes. 


Yes,  so  my  father  says  ;  I  can't  remember  her. 

Poor  child  !     And  how  does  she  take  it  ? 

•2,0)1  TIIK     Wll.l)     DICK.  [a(  T    II 


Oh,  you  can  imagine  we  haven't  the  heart  to 
tell  her  of  it.  She  dreams  of  no  danger.  (Jay 
and  careless  and  chirping  like  a  little  bird,  she 
flutters  onward  into  a  life  of  endless  night. 
[Overcome.]  Oh,  it  is  cruelly  hard  on  me, 

[Hedvig  brings  a  I  ray  ivitli  heer  and  glasses, 
which  she  sets  upon  the  table. 


[Sirokiug  her  hair.]     Thanks,  thanks,  Hedvig. 

[Hedvig  puts  her  ann  round  his  neck  and 
whispers  in  his  tar. 


No,  no  bread  and  butter  just  now.  [Looks  up.] 
But  perhaps  you  would  like  some,  Gregers. 

[With  a  gesture  of  refusal.]     No,  no  thank  you. 


[Still  vn-htmholy.]  Well,  you  can  bring  in  a 
little  all  the  same.  If  you  have  a  crust,  that  is  all 
1  want.     And  plenty  of  butter  on  it,  mind. 

[Hedvig  nods  gaily  and  goes  out  into  the 
kitchen  again. 

[Who  has  been  Jul  lowing  her  with  his  eyes.]     She 
seems  quite  strong  and  healthy  otherwise. 


Yes.  In  other  ways  there's  nothing  amiss  with 
her,  thank  goodness. 


act  ii.]  the   wild  duck.  253 

She   promises  to  be  very  like  you^  Mrs.   Ekdal. 
How  old  is  she  now  .'' 


Hedvig  is  close  on  fourteen ;  her  birthday  is 
the  day  after  to-morrow. 

She  is  pretty  tall  for  her  age,  then. 


YeSj  she's  shot  up  wonderful  this  last  year, 

It  makes  one  i-ealise  one's  own  age  to  see  these 
young  people  growing  up. — How  long  is  it  now 
since  you  were  married  .'' 


We've  been  married — let  me  see — ^just  on 
fifteen  years. 

Is  it  so  long  as  that .'' 


[Becomes  attentive;  looks  at  km.]  Yes,  it  is 


Yes,  so  it  is.  Fifteen  years  all  but  a  few 
months.  [Changing  his  tone.^  They  must  have 
been  long  years  for  you,  up  at  the  works, 


They  seemed  long  while   I   was  living  them ; 

254  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    II. 

now  they  are  over,  I  hardly  know  how  the  time 

has  gone. 

[Old  Ekdal  comes  from  his  room  wtthoiil 
his  pipe,  but  with  his  old-fashioned 
imifonn  cap  on  his  head ;  his  gait  is 
somewhat  tinsteady. 

Come  now,  Hialmar,  let's  sit  down  and  have  a 
good  talk  about  this — h'm — what  was  it  again  ? 


[Going  towards  hhn^  Father,  we  have  a  visitor 
here — Gregers  Werle. — I  don't  know  if  you 
remember  him. 


[Looking  a<  Gregers,  who  hasrisen.^  Werle  ?  Is 
that  the  son  .''     What  does  he  want  with  me  ? 

Nothing ;  it's  me  he  has  come  to  see. 

Oh  !     Then  there's  nothing  wrong  } 

No,  no,  of  course  not. 

[With  a  large  gesture.^     Not  that  I'm  afraid,  you 
know  ;  but 


[Goes  over  to  /»;//.]  I  bring  you  a  greeting  from 
vmir  old  imiiting-grounds,  Lieut(.n;in(  I' 

ACT    II. 1  THE    WILD    DUCK.  255 

Hunting-grounds  ? 

Yes,  up  in  Hoidal,  about  the  works,  you  know. 

Oh,  up  there.      Yes,  I  knew  all  those  places 
well  in  the  old  days. 

You  were  a  great  sportsman  then. 

So  I  was,  I  don't  deny  it.     You're  looking  at 
my  uniform  cap.     I  don't  ask  anybody's  leave  to 
wear  it  in  the  house.     So  long  as  I  don't  go  out 

in  the  streets  with  it 

[Hedvig  brings  a  plate  of  bread  and  butter, 
which  she  puts  upon  the  table. 


Sit    down,    father,    and    have    a  glass  of  beer, 
lelp  yourself,  Gregers. 

[Ekdal  mutiei's  and  stumbles  over  to  the 
sofa.  Gregers  seats  himself  on  the  chair 
nearest  to  him,  Hialmar  on  the  other  side 
q/  Gregers.  Gin  a  sits  a  little  nmy  from 
the  table,  senmig  ;  Hedvig  stands  beside 
her  father. 

Can   you   remember,    Lieutenant    Ekdal,    how 
Hialmar  and  I  used  to  come  up  and  visit  you  in 
the  summer  and  at  Christmas  } 

256  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    II. 

Did  you  ?     No,  no,  no ;  I   don't  remember  it. 
But  sure  enoufjli  I've  been  a  tidy  bit  of  a  sports- 
man in  my  day.     I've  shot  bears  too.     I've  shot 
nine  of   em,  no  less. 


[Loofciug  stimpathcticallt)  at  /«w.]  And  now  you 
never  get  any  shooting  f 

Can't  just  say  that,  sir.     Get  a  shot  now  and 
then   perhaps.     Of  course   not   in    the   old   way. 

For  the  woods  you  see — the  woods,the  woods 1 

[/)?7«Ax]     Are  the  woods  fine  up  there  now  ? 

Not  so  fine  as  in  your  time.     They  have  been 
Ihinned  a  good  deal. 

Thinned  }     [More  softlij,  and  as  if  afraid.]     It's 
dangerous  work  that.     Bad    things    come    of  it. 
The  woods  revenge  themselves. 


[Filling  uj)  his  glass.]  Come — a  little  more, 


How  can  a  man  like  you — such  a  man  for  the 
open  air — live  in  the  midst  of  a  stuffy  town,  boxed 
within  four  walls .'' 


[Laughs  quietlij  and  glances  at  1 1  l\lmar.]  Oh,  it's 
not  so  bad  here.     Not  at  all  so  bad. 

act  ii.]  the  wild   duck.  257 

But  don't  you  miss  all  the  things  that  used  to 
be  a  part  of  your  very  being — the  cool  sweeping 
breezes,  the  free   life   in   the  woods  and  on  the 
uplands,  among  beasts  and  birds .'' 

[Smiling.'j     Hialmar,  shall  we  let  him  see  it  ? 


[Hastily  and  a  little  embarrassed.^  Oh  no  no, 
father ;  not  this  evening. 

What  does  he  want  to  show  me  .'' 


Oh,  it's  only  something — you  can  see  it  another 


[Continues,  to  the  old  »«zw.]  You  see  I  have  been 
thinking.  Lieutenant  Ekdal,  that  you  should 
come  up  with  me  to  the  works  ;  I  am  sure  to  be 
going  back  soon.  No  doubt  you  could  get  some 
copying  there  too.  And  here,  you  have  nothing 
on  earth  to  interest  you — nothing  to  liven  you  up. 

[Stares  in  astonishment  at  him.^     Have  /  nothing 

on  earth  to ! 

Of  course  you  have  Hialmar;  but  then  he  has 
his  own    family.     And  a  man  like  you,  who  has 
always  had  such  a  passion   for  what  is  free  and 

258  THE  WILD    DUCK.  [act 

[Thumps  the  table.]     Hialmar,  he  shall  see  it ! 


Oh,  do  you  think  it's  worth  while,  father  ?  It's 
all  dark. 


Nonsense  ;  it's  moonlight.  [liixes.]  He  shall 
see  it,  I  tell  you.  Let  me  pass  1  Come  and  help 
me,  Hialmar. 


Oh  yes,  do,  father  ! 

[Rising,]     Very  well  then. 
[To  GiNA.]     What  is  it  ? 
Oh,  nothing  so  very  wonderful,  after  all. 

[Ekdal  and  Hialmar  have  gone  to  the  back 
wall  and  are  each  pushing  back  a  side  of 
the  sliding  door ;  Hedvig  helps  the  old 
man  ;  Gregers  remains  standing  by  the 
sofa;  Gina  sits  still  and  sen's.  Through 
the  open  doonvay  a  large,  deep  irregular 
garret  is  seen  with  odd  iiooks  and  corners  ; 
a  couple  of  stove-pipes  running  through 
it,  from  rooms  below.  There  are  ski/- 
lishts  through  ivhich  clear  moonbeamjs 
shine  in  on  some  parts  of  the  great  room  ; 
others  he  in  deep  shadow.] 

[To  Gregers.]     You  may  come  close  up  if  you 

act  ii.]  the  wild  duck.  259 

[Going  over  to  them.^     Why,  what  is  it  ? 

Look  for  yourself.     H'm. 


[Somewhat  embarrassed.]     This  belongs  to  father, 
you  understand. 


[At  the  door,  looks  into  the  garret.]     Why,  you 
keep  poultry.  Lieutenant  Ekdal 

Should  think  we  did  keep  poultry.     They've 
gone  to  roost  now.     But  you  should  just  see  our 
fowls  by  daylight,  sir  ! 

And  there's  a 

Sh — sh  !  don't  say  anything  about  it  yet. 

And  you  have  pigeons  too,  I  see. 

Oh  yes,  haven't  we  just  got  pigeons  !     They 
have  their  nest-boxes  up  there  under  the  roof- 
tree  ;  for  pigeons  like  to  roost  high,  you  see 

They  aren't  all  common  pigeons. 

Common  !      Should   think  not    indeed  \      We 


260  THE    WILD    Di'CK.  [act  II. 

have  tumblers,  and  a  pair  of  pouters,  too.  But 
come  here  I  Can  you  see  that  hutch  down  there 
by  the  wall  ? 

Yes  ;  what  do  you  use  it  for  ? 

That's  where  the  rabbits  sleep,  sir. 

Dear  me  ;  so  you  have  rabbits  too.^ 


Yes,  you  may  take  my  word  for  it,  we  have 
rabbits  !  He  wants  to  know  if  we  have  rabbits, 
Hialmar  !  H'm!  But  now  comes  the  thiiifr,  let 
me  tell  you !  Here  we  have  it !  Move  away, 
Hedvig.  Stand  here  ;  that's  right, —  and  now 
look  down  there. — Don't  you  see  a  basket  with 
straw  in  it  ? 


Yes.     And  I  can  see  a  fowl  lying  in  the  basket. 

H'm — "  a  fowl  " 

Isn't  it  a  duck  ? 

[Hurt.]     Why,  of  course  it's  a  duck. 

But  what  kind  of  duck,  do  you  think  } 

It's  not  just  a  common  duck 


act  ii.]  the  wild  duck.  26l 



And  it's  not  a  Muscovy  duck  either. 

No,  Mr. — Werle ;  it's  not  a  Muscovy  duck  ;  for 
it's  a  wild  duck  ! 

Is  it  really  ?     A  wild  duck  ? 

Yes,  that's  what  it  is.     That  "  fowl  "  as  you  call 
it — is  the  wild  duck.     It's  our  wild  duck,  sir. 

My  wild  duck.     It  belongs  to  me. 

And  can  it  live  up  here  in  the  garret  ?    Does 
it  thrive  ? 


Of  course  it  has  a  trough  of  water  to  splash 
about  in,  you  know. 


Fresh  water  every  other  day. 


[Turning    towards    Hialmar.]      But    my    dear 
Ekdal,  it's  getting  icy  cold  here. 

H'm,  we  had  better  shut  up  then.     It's  as  well 

262  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [act  II. 

not  to  disturb  their  night's  rest,  too.     Close  up, 

[HiALMAR  aTid  Hedmg  push  the  garret  doors 
together.  • 

Another    time    you     shall     see     her    properly. 
\Se(ds  himself  in  the  arm-chair   by  the  .slove.'\     Oh, 
they're  curious  things,  these  wild  ducks,  I  can  tell 

How  did  you  manage   to  catch  it.  Lieutenant 
Ekdal  ? 


/  didn't  catch  it.      There's   a  certain   man  in 
this  town  whom  we  have  to  thank  for  it. 


[Starts  slightly.']     That  man  was  not  my  father, 
was  he  ? 


You've  hit  it.     Your  father  and  no  one  else. 


Strange  that  you  should  guess  that,  Gregers. 

You  were  telling  me  that  you  owed  so  many 
things  to  my  father ;  and  so  I  thought  perhaps 


But  we  didn't  get  the  duck  from  Mr.  Werle 



It's  Hakon  Werle  we  have  to  thank  for  her,  all 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  263 

the  same,  Gina.  [To  Gregers.]  He  was  shooting 
from  a  boat,  you  see,  and  he  brought  her  down. 
But  your  father's  sight  is  not  very  good  now. 
H'm  ;  she  was  only  wounded. 

Ah  !     She  got  a  couple  of  slugs  in  her  body,  I 


Yes,  two  or  three. 

She  was  hit  under  the  wing,  so  that  she  couldn't 


And  I  suppose  she  dived  to  the  bottom,  eh  .'' 

[Sleepily,  in  a  thick  voice.]  Of  course.  Always 
do  that,  wild  ducks  do.  They  shoot  to  the 
bottom  as  deep  as  they  can  get,  sir — and  bite 
themselves  fast  in  the  tangle  and  seaweed — and 
all  the  devil's  own  mess  that  grows  down  there. 
And  they  never  come  up  again. 

But  your  wild  duck  came  up  again.  Lieutenant 

He  had  such  an   amazingly  clever  dog,  your 
father  had.     And  that  dog — he  dived  in  after  the 
duck  and  fetched  her  up  again. 

[Who  has  turned  to  Hialmar.]     And  then  she 
was  sent  to  you  here  .'' 

264  TIIK     WILD     DUCK.  [\« 


Not  at  once ;  at  first  your  father  took  lier 
home.  But  she  wouldn't  thrive  there  ;  so  Petter- 
sen  was  told  to  put  an  end  to  her 

[Half  asleep.]     H  'm  —  yes  —  Pettersen  —  that 


[Speaking  more  xoflh/.]  That  was  how  we  got 
her,  you  see  ;  for  father  knows  Pettersen  a  little ; 
and  when  he  heard  about  the  wild  duck  he  got 
him  to  hand  her  over  to  us. 

And  now  she  thrives  as  well  as  possible  in  the 
garret  there  ? 


Yes,  wonderfully  well.  She  has  got  fat.  You 
see,  she  has  lived  in  there  so  long  now  that  she 
has  forgotten  her  natural  wild  life ;  and  it  all 
depends  on  that. 

You  are  right  there,  Hialmar.      Be  sure  you 
never  let  her  get  a  glimpse  of  the  sky  and  the 

sea- .     But  I  mustn't  stay  any  longer  ;  I  think 

your  father  is  asleep. 


Oh,  as  for  that 

But,  by-the  bye — you  said  you  had  a  room  to 
let — a  spare  room  .'' 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  265 


Yes ;    what   then  ?      Do    you    know   of    any- 
body  ? 

Can  1  have  that  room  ? 




Oh  no,  Mr.  Werle,  you 

May  I  have  the  room  }    If  so,  I'll  take  possession 
first  thing  to-morrow  morning. 


Yes,  with  the  greatest  pleasure 


But,  Mr.  Werle,  I'm  sure  it's  not  at  all  the  sort 
of  room  for  you. 


Why,  Gina  !  how  can  you  say  that .'' 


Why,  because  the  room's  neither  large  enough 
nor  light  enough,  and 

That  really  doesn't  matter,  Mrs.  Ekdal. 


I  call  it  quite  a  nice  room,  and  not  at  all  badly 
furnished  either. 

il66  THE    WII.I)     DUCK.  [act    II. 


But  remember  the  pair  of  them  underneath. 

What  pair  ? 


Well,  there's  one  as  has  been  a  tutor 


That's  Molvik— Mr.  Molvik,  B.A. 


And  then  there's  a  doctor,  by  the  name  of 


Relling  }  I  know  him  a  little  ;  he  practised  for 
a  time  up  in  Hoidal. 


They're  a  regular  rackety  pair,  they  are.  As 
often  as  not,  they're  out  on  the  loose  in  the  even- 
ings ;  and  then  they  come  home  at  all  hours,  and 
they're  not  always  just 

One  soon  gets  used  to  that  sort  of  thing.     I 
daresay  I  shall  be  like  the  wild  duck 


H'm;  I  think  you  ought  to  sleep  upon  it  first, 


You  seem  very  unwilling  to  have  me  in  the 
house,  Mrs.  Ekdal. 

Oh  no  !  What  makes  you  think  that  ? 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  267 


Well,  you  really  behave  strangely  about  it,  Gina. 
[T'o  Gregers.]  Then  I  suppose  you  intend  to 
remain  in  the  town  for  the  present .'' 

[Putting  on  his  overcoat.]     Yes,  now  I  intend  to 
remain  here. 


And  yet  not  at  your  father's  .''  What  do  you 
propose  to  do,  then  ? 

Ah,  if  I  only  knew  that,  Hialmar,  I  shouldn't 
be  so  badly  off!  But.  when  one  has  the  mis- 
fortune to  be  called  Gregers —  !  "  Gregers  " — 
and  then  "  Werle  "  after  it ;  did  you  ever  hear 
anything  so  hideous  .'' 


Oh,  I  don't  think  so  at  all. 

Ugh  !     Bah  !     I  feel  I  should  like  to  spit  upon 
the  fellow  that   answers   to   such  a  name.     But 
when  a  man  is  once  for  all  doomed  to  be  Gregers 
— Werle  in  this  world,  as  I  am 


[Laughs.]  Ha  ha !  If  you  weren't  Gregers 
Werle,  what  would  you  like  to  be  .'' 

If  I  could  choose,  I  should  like  best  to  be  a 
clever  dog. 


A  dog ! 

268  THK     WILD     1)1  CK.  [act    H. 

[Involuntarili/.]    Oh  no ! 

Yes,  an  amazinjily  c-lt-ver  (loj;  ;  one  that  poes  to 
tlie  bottom  aftt  r  wild   ducks  wlien  they  dive  and 
bite  tliemselves  fast  in  tangle  and  sea-weed,  down 
among  the  ooze. 


Upon  my  word  now,  Gregers — I  don't  in  the 
least  know  what  you're  ch-iving  at. 

Oh  well,  you  might  not  be  much  the  wiser  if 
you  did.  It's  understood,  then,  that  I  move  in 
early  to-morrow  morning.  [7'o  Gina.]  I  won't 
give  you  any  trouble ;  I  do  everything  for  myself. 
[7*0  Hialmar.]  We  can  talk  about  the  rest  to- 
morrow.— Good-night,  Mrs.  Ekdal.  [AW*  to 
Hedvig.]     Good-night. 

Good-night,  Mr.  Werle. 


[Who  has  lighted  a  candle.]     Wait  a  moment ;   I 
must  show  you  a  light;  the  stairs  are  sure  to  be  dark. 
[Gregers    and    Hialmar  go    out    by  the 
passage  door. 


[Looking  straight  before  her,  with  her  sewing  in 
her  lap.]  Wasn't  that  queer- like  talk  about  want- 
ing to  be  a  dog  .'' 

act  ii.]  the  wild   duck.  26.9 

Do  you   know,   mother — I    believe    he    meant 
something  quite  (hfferent  by  that. 


Why,  what  should  he  mean  ? 

Oh,  I  don't  know;  but  it  seemed  to  me  he 
meant  something  different  from  what  he  said — all 
the  time. 


Do  you  think  so  .''     Yes,  it  was  sort  of  queer. 


[^Coynex  hack.]  The  lamp  was  still  burning.  [Puts 
out  the  caudle  and  sets  it  down.]  Ah,  now  one  can 
get  a  mouthful  of  food  at  last.  [Begins  to  eat  the 
bread  and  butter.]  Well,  you  see,  Gina — if  only 
you  keep  your  eyes  open 

How,  keep  your  eyes  open } 

Why,  haven't  we  at  last  had  the  luck  to  get  the 
room    let.''     And   just    think — to    a    person    like 
Gregers — a  good  old  friend. 

Well,  I  don't  know  what  to  say  about  it. 

Oh  mother,  you'll  see  ;  it'll  be  such  fun  ! 

270  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    II. 


You're  very  straiifje  You  were  so  bent  upon 
getting  the  room  let  before ;  and  now  you  don't 
like  it. 


Yes  I  do,  Ekdal ;  if  it  had  only  been  to  some 

one   else But   what   do   you   suppose  Mr. 

Werle  will  say .'' 


Old  Werle  .''     It  doesn't  concern  him. 


But  surely  you  can  see  that  there's  something 
amiss  between  them  again,  or  the  young  man 
wouldn't  be  leaving  home.  You  know  very  well 
those  two  can't  get  on  with  each  other. 


Very  likely  not,  but 


And  now  Mr.  Werle  may  fancy  it's  you  that 
has  egged  him  on 


Let  him  fancy  so,  then  !  Mr.  Werle  has  done 
a  great  deal  for  me  ;  far  be  it  from  me  to  deny  it. 
But  that  doesn't  make  me  everlastingly  dependent 
upon  him. 


But,  my  dear  Ekdal,  maybe  grandfather  '11 
suSer  for  it.  He  may  loose  the  little  bit  of  work 
he  gets  from  Graberg, 


I  could  almost  say  :  so  much  the  better  !     Is  it 

ACT    II.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  271 

not  humiliating  for  a  man  like  me  to  see  his  grey- 
haired  father  treated  as  a  pariah  ?  But  now  1 
believe  the  fulness  of  time  is  at  hand.  [ZaAre*  a 
fresh  piece  of  bread  and  hidter.]  As  sure  as  I  have 
a  mission  in  life,  I  mean  to  fulfil  it  now  ! 

Oh  yes,  father,  do ! 


Hush  !     Don't  wake  him  ! 


[More  softly.]     I  will  fulfil  it,  I  say.     The  day 

shall  come  when And  that  is  why  I  say  it's 

a  good  thing  we  have  let  the  room ;  for  that 
makes  me  more  independent.  The  man  who  has 
a  mission  in  life  must  be  independent.  [&/  the 
arm-chair,  with  emotion.]  Poor  old  white-haired 
father !  Rely  on  your  Hialmar.  He  has  broad 
shoulders — strong  shoulders,  at  any  rate.      You 

shall  yet  wake  up  some  fine  day  and [To 

GiNA.]     Do  you  not  believe  it  ? 

Gin  A. 
[Rising.]    Yes,  of  course  I  do ;  but  in  the  mean- 
time suppose  we  see  about  getting  him  to  bed. 

Yes,  come. 

[They  take  hold  of  the  old  man  carefully. 



HiALMAR  Ekdal's  stitdio.  It  is  tnortnng :  the  daylight 
shines  through  the  large  ivindotv  in  the  slanting 
roof;  the  curtain  is  drawn  hark. 

HiALMAU  is  sitting  at  the  table,  hiisi/  retouching  a 
photograph  ;  several  others  lie  before  him.  Pre- 
sently GiNA,  wearing  her  hat  and  cloak,  enters  by 
the  passage  door  ;  she  has  a  covered  basket  on  her 


Back  already,  Gina  ? 


Oh  yes,  one  can't  let  the  grass  grow  under  one's 

[Sets  her  basket  on  a  chair,  and  takes  off  her 


Did  you  look  in  at  Gregers'  room  ? 

Yes,  that  I  did.    It's  a  rare  sight,  I  can  tell  you ; 
he's  made  a  pretty  mess  to  start  off  witli. 


How  so  ? 


He  was  determined  to  do  everything  for  himself, 
he  said  ;  so  he  sets  to  work  to  light  the  stove,  and 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  273 

what  must  he  do  but  screw  down  the  damper  till 
the  whole  room  is  full  of  smoke.  Ugh !  There 
was  a  smell  fit  to 


Well,  really ! 


But  that's  not  the  worst  of  it;  for  then  he  thinks 
he'll  put  out  the  fire,  and  goes  and  empties  his 
water-jug  into  the  stove,  and  so  makes  the  whole 
floor  one  filthy  puddle. 


How  annoying  ! 


I've  got  the  porter's  wife  to  clear  up  after  him, 
pig  that  he  is  !  But  the  room  won't  be  fit  to 
live  in  till  the  afternoon. 


What's  he  doing  with  himself  in  the  meantime? 


He  said  he  was  going  out  for  a  little  while. 


I  looked  in  upon  him  too,  for  a  moment — after 
you  had  gone. 


So  I  heard.     You've  asked  him  to  lunch. 


.Tust  to  a  little  bit  of  early  lunch,  you  know.  It's 
his  first  day — we  can  hardly  do  less.  You've  got 
something  in  the  house,  1  suppose  .'' 


27 ■i  THE   un.n    1)1  CK.  [act  hi. 


I  slial\  nave  to  find  something  or  other. 

Ill  AI.M.AH. 

And  don't  cut  it  too  fine,  for  I  fancy  Relliiifj 
and  Molvik  are  coniin<r  up  too.  I  just  happened 
to  meet  Relling  on  the  stairs,  you  see ;  so  I  had 


Oh,  are  we  to  have  those  two  as  well .'' 


Good  Lord — a  couple  more  or  less  can't  make 
any  difference. 

Old  Ekdal. 

[Open,i  his  door  and  looks  in.\    I  say,  Hialmar 

[.9ewGiNA.]     Oh  ! 


Do  you  want  anything,  grandfather  .'' 

Oh  no,  it  doesn't  matter.     H'm  I 

\^Retires  again. 


[7'r//.Y'.v  up  the.  hosh'i.]  Be  sure  you  see  that  he 
doesn't  go  out. 


All  right,  all  right.  And,  Gina,  a  little  herring- 
salad  wouldn't  be  a  bad  idea  ;  Rellingand  Molvik 
were  out  on  the  loose  again  last  night. 


If  only  they  don't  come  before  I'm  ready  for 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  275 


No,  of  course  they  won't ;  take  your  own  time. 


Very  well ;  and  meanwhile  you  can  be  working 
a  bit, 


Well,  lam  working !  I  am  working  as  hard  as 
I  can ! 


Then  you'll  have  that  job  off  your  hands,  you  see. 

[She  goes  otd  to  the  kitchen  with  her  basket. 

HiALMAR  sits  for  a  time  pencilli7ig  away  at 

the  photograph,  in  an  indolent  and  listless 


[Peeps  in,  looks  round  the  studio,  and  says  softly  ;] 
Are  you  busy  ? 


Yes  I'm  toiling  at  these  wretched  pictures 

Well  well,  never  mind, — since  you're  so  busy — 

h'm  !  [He  goes  out  again  ;  the  door  stands  open. 


[Continues  for  some  time  in  silence  ;  then  he  lays 
down  his  brush  and  goes  over  to  the  door.^  Are  you 
busy,  father  } 


[In  a  grumbling  tone,  within.']  If  you're  busy,  I'm 
busy  too.     H'm  ! 


Oh,  very  well,  then.  [Goes  to  his  work  again. 

276  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    111. 

[Presentli/,  coming  to  the  door  again.]    H'm  ;  I  say, 
Hialmar,  I'm  not  so  very  busy,  you  know. 


I  thought  you  were  writing. 

Oh,  devil  take  it!  can't  Graherg  wait  a  day  or 
two  .''  After  all,  it's  not  a  matter  of  life  and  death 

No ;  and  you're  not  his  slave  either. 

And  about  that  other  business  in  there 


Just  what  I  was  thinking  of.    Do  you  want  to  go 
in.     Shall  I  open  the  door  for  you  .'' 

Well,  it  wouldn't  be  a  bad  notion. 


[/??.9ejy.]       Then  we'd  have  that  off  our  hands. 

Yes,  exactly.     It's  got  to  be  ready  first  thing  to- 
morrow.    It  is  to-morrow,  isn't  it.''    H'm  ? 

Yes,  of  course  it's  to  morrow. 

[Hialmar  and  Ekdal  jui.s/i  aside  each  Ins 

ACT    III.]  THE     WILD     DUCK.  277 

half  of  the  sUdiiig  door.  The  morning  sun 
is  shining  in  through  the  skylights  ;  some 
doves  are  fli/ing  about ;  others  sit  cooing, 
upon  the  perches ;  the  hens  are  heard 
clucking  now  and  then,  further  back  in  the 


There ;  now  you  can  get  to  work,  father. 

[_Goes  in.^     Aren't  you  coming  too  ? 


Well  really,  do  you  know ;    I  almost  think 

[Sees   Gin  A  at  the  kitchen  door.^    I  ?  No ;    I 

haven't  time  ;  I  must  work. — But  now  for  our  new 

[He  pulls  a  cord,  a  curtain  slips  down  inside, 
the  lower  part  consisting  of  a  piece  of  old 
sailcloth,  the  upper  part  of  a  stretched 
fishing  ?iet.  The  floor  of  the  garret  is 
thus  no  longer  visible. 


[Goes  to  the  tdble.]  So !  Now,  perhaps  I  can  sit 
in  peace  for  a  little  while. 


Is  he  rampaging  in  there  again  ? 


Would  you  rather  have  had  him  slip  down  to 
Madam  Eriksen's.  [Seats  Imnself]  Do  you  want 
anything  ?     You  know  you  said 

278  THi;      WILD     DICK.  [\CT    III. 


I  only  wanted  to  ask  if  you  think  we  can  lay  the 
table  for  lunch  here  ? 


Yes ;  we  have  no  early  appointment,  I  supjx)se  ? 


No,  I   expect  no  one  to  day  except  those  two 
sweethearts  that  are  to  be  taken  together. 


Why  the  deuce  couldn't  they  be  taken  together 
another  day ! 


Don't  you  know,  I   told  them  to  come  in  the 
afternoon,  when  you  are  having  your  nap. 


Oh,  that's  capital.     Very  well,  let  us  have  lunch 
here  then. 


All  right ;  but  there's  no  hurry  about  laying  the 
cloth  ;  you  can  have  the   table   for  a  good  while 



Do  you  think   I  am  not  sticking  at  my  work  } 
I'm  at  it  as  hard  as  I  can  ! 


Then  you'll  be  free  later  on.  you  know. 

[^Goes    out    into    the   kitchen  again.     Short 

[/«  the  garret  duorwai^,  behind  the  net.'\     Hialmar  ' 

ACT    HI.]  THE     WILD     DUCK.  279 


Well  ? 

Afraid  we  shall  have  to  move  the  water-trough, 
after  all. 


What  else  have  I  been  saying  all  along  ? 

H'm — h'm — h'm. 

Goes  away  froin  the  door  again. 
HiALMAR  goes  on  working  a  little  ;  glances 
towards  the  garret  and  half  rises.  Hedvig 
comes  in  from  the  kitchen. 


[Sits  down  again  hurriedly.^     What  do  you  want .'' 

I  only  wanted  to  come  in  beside  you,  father. 


[After  a  pause.]  What  makes  you  go  prying 
around  like  that .''  Perhaps  you  are  told  off  to 
watch  me  .'' 


No,  no. 


What  is  your  mother  doing  out  there  ? 

Oh,  mother's  in  the  middle  of  making  the  her- 
ring-salad.    [Goes  to  the  table.]      Isn't  there  any 
little  thing  I  could  help  you  with,  father  .'' 

280  TIIK     WILD     Dl'lK.  [act    III. 


Oh  no.  It  is  right  that  I  should  boar  the  whole 
burden — so  h)ng  as  my  strengtl)  holds  out.  Set 
your  mind  at  rest,  Hedvig  ;  if  only  your  father 
keeps  his  health 

Oh  no,  father  !     You  mustn't  talk  in  that  horrid 

\^She  ivanders  ahoul  a  little,  .slops  by  the  dour- 
way  and  looks  into  the  garret. 


Tell  me,  what  is  he  doing  ? 

I  think  he's  making  a  new  path  to  the  water- 


He  can  never  manage  that  by  himself!  And 
here  am  I  doomed  to  sit ! 


[Goes  to  him.']  Let  me  take  the  brush,  father; 
I  can  do  it,  quite  well. 


Oh  nonsense  ;  you  will  only  hurt  your  eyes. 

Not  a  bit.     Give  me  the  brush. 


[Rising.]  Well,  it  won't  take  more  than  a  minute 
or  two. 

act  iii.]  the   wild   duck.  281 

Poohj  what  harm   can  it  do  then?     YTakes  the 
brnsh.]      There !      [Seats   herself'.]      I    can    begin 
upon  this  one. 


But  mind  you  don't  hurt  your  eyes  !  Do  you 
hear  ?  I  won't  be  answerable  ;  you  do  it  on  your 
own  responsibility — understand  that. 

[Retouchi?ig.]     Yes  yes,  I  understand. 


You  are  quite  clever  at  it,  Hedvig.  Only  a 
minute  or  two,  you  know. 

[He  slips  through  by  the  edge  of  the  curtain 
into  the  garret.  Hedvig  sits  at  her  work. 
HiALMAR  and  Ekdal  are  heard  disputing 


[Appears  behind  the  net.]  I  say,  Hedvig — give 
me  those  pincers  that  are  lying  on  the  shelf.  And 
the  chisel.  [Turns  away  inside.]  Now  you 
shall  see,  father.  Just  let  me  show  you  first  what 
I  mean  ! 

[Hedvig  has  fetched  the  required  tools  from 
the  shelf,  and  hands  them  to  him  through 
the  net. 


Ah,  thanks.  I  didn't  come  a  moment  too  soon. 
[Goes  back  from  the  ctiiiain  again  ;  they  are 
heard  carpentering  and  talking  inside. 
Hedvig  stands  looking  in  at  them.  A 
moment  later  there  is  a  knock  at  the  passage 
door  ;  she  does  not  notice  it. 

282  TlIK     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    111. 

Gregers  Werle. 
[Bareheaded,  in  indoor  dress,  enters  and  stops  near 

the  door.]     H'm ! 

[Turns  and  goes  towards  /^tw^.]     Good  morning. 
Please  come  in. 


Thank  you.     [Loofdfig  towards' the  garretl]     You 
seem  to  have  workpeople  in  the  house. 

No,  it  is  only  father  and  grandfather.     I'll  tell 
them  you  are  here. 

No  no,  don't  do  that ;  I  would  rather  wait  a 
little.  [Seats  himself  on  the  sofa. 


It  looks  so  untidy  here 

[Begins  to  clear  away  the  photographs. 

Oh,  don't  take  them  away.     Are  those  prints 
that  have  to  be  finished  off? 

Yes,  they  are  a  few  I  was  helping  father  with. 

Please  don't  let  me  disturb  you. 

Oh  no. 

[She  gathers  the  things  to  her  and  sits  down  to 
work ;  Gregers  looks  at  her,  meanwhile, 
in  silence. 

act  iii.]  the    wild   duck.  283 

Did  the  wild  duck  sleep  well  last  night  ? 

Yes,  I  think  so,  thanks. 

[Turning  towards   the   garret.^     It    looks    quite 
different  by  day  from  what  it  did  last  night  in  the 

Yes,  it  changes  ever  so  much.     It  looks  different 
in  tlie  morning  and  in  the  afternoon  ;    and  it's 
different   on    rainy  days   from  what  it  is  in  fine 

Have  you  noticed  that  ? 

Yes,  how  could  I  help  it  ? 


Are  you,  too,  fond  of  being  in  there  with  the 
wild  duck .'' 

Yes,  when  I  can  manage  it 

But  I  suppose  you  haven't  much  spare  time ;  you 
go  to  school,  no  doubt. 

No,  not  now  ;  father  is  afraid  of  my  hurting  ray 

Oh;  then  he  reads  with  you  himself? 

284  TIIK     WILD     nUCK.  [act    III. 

Father  has  promised  to  read  with  me ;  but  he 
has  never  had  time  yet. 


Then  is  there  nobody  else  to  give  you  a  Uttle 
help  ? 


Yes,  there  is  Mr.  Molvik  ;  but  he  is  not  always 
exactly — quite 

Sober  ? 

Yes,  I  suppose  that's  it ! 

Why,  then  you  must  have  any  amount  of  time 
on  your  hands.     And   in   there   I   suppose  it  is   a 
sort  of  world  by  itself.'' 

Oh  yes,  quite.     And   there  are    such    lots    of 
wonderful  things. 

Indeed  ? 

Yes,  there  are  big  cupboards  full  of  books  ;  and 
a  great  many  of  the  books  have  pictures  in  them. 


And   there's  an  old  bureau  with  drawers  and 

ACT    in.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  285 

flaps,  and  a  big  clock  with  figures  that  go  out  and 
in.     But  the  clock  isn't  going  now. 

So  time  has  come  to  a  standstill  in  there — in  the 
wild  duck's  domain. 

Yes.     And  then  there's  an  old  paint-box  and 
things  of  that  sort ;  and  all  the  books. 

And  you  read  the  books,  I  suppose  .'' 

Oh  yes,  when  I  get  the  chance.  Most  of  them 
are  English  though,  and  I  don't  understand 
English.  But  then  I  look  at  the  pictures. — There 
is  one  great  big  book  called  "  Harrison's  History 
of  London."  ^  It  must  be  a  hundred  years  old  ; 
and  there  are  such  heaps  of  pictures  in  it.  At  the 
beginning  there  is  Death  with  an  hour-glass  and 
a  woman.  I  think  that  is  horrid.  But  then  there 
are  all  the  other  pictures  of  churches,  and  castles, 
and  streets,  and  great  ships  sailing  on  the  sea. 


But  tell  me,  where  did  all  those  wonderful  things 
come  from  ? 


Oh,  an  old  sea  captain  once  lived  here,  and  he 
brought  them  home  with  him.  They  used  to  call 
him  "  The  Flying  Dutchman."  That  was  curious, 
because  he  wasn't  a  Dutchman  at  all. 

'  A  New  and  Universal  History  of  the  Cities  of  Lojidon  atid 
Westminster,  by  Walter  Harrison.     London,  1775,  folio. 

286  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    III. 

Was  he  not  ? 

No.     But  at  last  he  was  drowned  at  sea  ;  and 
so  he  left  all  those  things  behind  him. 

Tell  me  now — when  you  are  sitting  in  there  look- 
infrat  the  pictures,  don't  you  wish  you  could  travel 
and  see  the  real  world  for  yourself .'' 

Oh  no  !     I  mean  always  to  stay  at  home  and 
help  father  and  mother. 

To  retouch  photographs  ? 

No,  not  only  that.     I  should  love  above  every- 
thing to  learn  to  engrave  pictures  like  those  in  the 
English  books. 


H'm.     What  does  your  father  say  to  that .'' 

I  don't  think  father  likes  it ;  father  is  strange 
about  such  things.     Only  think,  he  talks  of  my 
learning  basket-making,  and  straw-plaiting  !     But 
I  don't  think  that  would  be  much  good. 

Oh  no,  I  don't  think  so  either. 

But   father  was   right  in   saying   that   if  I  had 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  287 

learnt  basket-making  I  could  have  made  the  new 
basket  for  the  wild  duck. 

So  you   could ;  and   it  was  you   that  ought  to 
have  done  it,  wasn't  it  ? 

Yes,  for  it's  my  wild  duck. 

Of  course  it  is. 

Yes,  it  belongs  to  me.     But  I  lend  it  to  father 
and  grandfather  as  often  as  they  please. 

Indeed  .''     What  do  they  do  with  it  ? 

Oh,  they  look  after  it,  and  build  places  for  it, 
and  so  on. 

I  see  ;  for  no  doubt  the  wild  duck  is  by  far  the 
most  distinguished  inhabitant  of  the  garret  ? 

Yes,  indeed  she  is  ;  for  she  is  a  real  wild  fowl, 
you  know.     And  then  she  is  so  much  to  be  pitied  ; 
she  has  no  one  to  care  for,  poor  thing. 

She  has  no  family,  as  the  rabbits  have 

No.      The    hens    too,    many    of    them,    were 

288  THE     WILD     DICK.  [aCT    III. 

chickens  to<jether  ;  but  she  has  been  taken  rif^ht 
away  from  all  lu-r  friends.  And  then  there  is  so 
much  that  is  strange  about  the  wild  duck.  No- 
bodv  knows  her,  and  nobody  knows  where  she 
came  from  either. 

And   she  has  been  down  in  the  depths  of  the 

[  With  a  quick  glance  at  him,  represses  a  smile  and 
asks .]     Why   do    you    say    "  the    depths    of    the 
sea  "  ? 

What  else  should  I  say  ? 

You  could  say  "  the  bottom  of  the  sea."  ^ 

Oh,  mayn't  I  just  as  well  say  the  depths  of  the 

Yes ;  but    it    sounds  so  strange    to  me  when 
other  people  speak  of  the  depths  of  the  sea. 

Why  so  ?     Tell  me  why  ? 

No,  I  won't ;  it's  so  stupid. 

1  Gregers  here  uses  the  old-fashionod  expression  "havsens 
bund,"  while  Hedvig  would  have  him  use  the  more  common- 
place "  havetb  bund  "  or  "  havbunden." 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  289 

Oh  no,  I  am  sure  it's  not.     Do  tell  me  why  you 

Well,  this  is  the  reason  :  whenever  I  come  to 
realise  suddenly — in  a  flash — what  is  in  there,  it 
always  seems  to  me  that  the  whole  room  and 
everything  in  it  should  be  called  "  the  depths  of 
the  sea." — But  that  is  so  stupid. 

You  mustn't  say  that. 

Oh  yes,  for  you  know  it  is  only  a  garret. 

[Looks fixedly  at  her,]     Are  you  so  sure  of  that  ? 

[Astonished.]     That  it's  a  garret .'' 

Are  you  quite  certain  of  it  ? 

[Hedvig  is  silent,  and  looks  at  him  open- 
mouthed.  GiNA  comes  in  from  the 
kitchen  with  the  table  things 

[Rising.]     I  have  come  in  upon  you  too  early. 


Oh,  you  must  be  somewhere  ;  and  we're  nearly 
ready  now,  any  way.     Clear  the  table,  Hedvig. 

[H  edvig  clears  awaif  her  things ;  she  and 

O()0  TIIK     \VI     '-•     ni'CK.  [ACT    III. 

GiNA  /«//  the  <  l»l/i  (luring  trhal  follows. 
Gukgeus  seals  himself  in  the  ann-ehair, 
and  lnrn,s  over  an  athinn. 

I  hear  you  can  retouch,  Mrs.  Kkdal. 


\lVUh  a  side  glance. '\     Yes,  I  can. 

That  was  exceedingly  lucky. 


How — lucky  ? 


Since  Ekdal  took  to  photography,  I  mean, 

Mother  can  take  photographs  too. 


Oh,  yes  ;  I  was  bound  to  learn  that. 

So  it  is  really  you  that  carry  on  the  business,  I 
suppose  ? 


Yes,  when  Ekdal  hasn't  time  himself 

He  is  a  great  deal  taken  up  with  his  old  father, 
I  daresay. 

Gin  A. 
Yes;  and    then   you   can't   expect  a   man    iike 

ACT    III,]  THE    '  D     DUCK.  291 

Ekdal  to    do   nothing  but  take   car-de-visits  of 
Dick,  Tom  and  Harry. 

I  quite  agree  with  you  ;  but  having  once  gone 
in  for  the  thing 


You  can  surely  understand,  Mr.  Werle,  that 
Ekdal's  not  Hke  one  of  yom*  common  photo- 


Of  course  not ;  but  still 

[A  shot  isjired  within  the  garret, 

[Starting  up.'\     What's  that  } 


Ugh  .'  now  they're  firing  again  ! 

Have  they  firearms  in  there .'' 

They  are  out  shooting. 

What !     [At  the  door  of  the  garret."]     Are  you 
shooting,  Hialmar  ? 


[Inside  the   7iet.'\      Are  you   there .''      I   didn't 

know ;   I    was   so    taken    up [To    Hedvig.] 

Why  did  you  not  let  us  know  ? 

[Comes  into  the  studio. 

292  TIIK     WILD     ni'CK.  [act    III. 


Do  you  go  shooting  in  the  garret  ? 


IShnrriiig   a   dnuhlc-barrcllcil  pi.sio/.]       Oh,   only 
with  this  thing. 


Yes,   you  and  grandfather  will  do  yourselves  a 
mischief  some  day  with  that  there  pigstol. 


\  JVil/i  initfitio)!.]     I  believe  I  have  told  you  that 
this  kind  of  firearm  is  called  a  pistol. 


Oh,  that  doesn't  make  it  much  better,  that  I 
can  see. 

So  you  have  become  a  sportsman  too,  Hialmar. 

Only    a  little    rabbit-shooting  now    and    then. 
Mostly  to  please  father,  you  understand. 


Men    are   strange   beings;     they  must   always 
have  something  to  pervert  theirselves  with. 

[Snappishly.]     Just  so;    we  must  always   have 
something  to  divert  ourselves  with. 


Yes,  that's  just  what  I  say. 

ACT    III.]  THE     WILD     DUCK.  293 


H'm.  [To  Gregers.]  You  see  the  gaiTet  is 
fortunately  so  situated  that  no  one  can  hear  us 
shooting.  [Lai/s  the  pLstoI  o?i  the  top  shelf  of  the  book- 
case.] Don't  touch  the  pistol,  Hedvig  I  One  of 
the  barrels  is  loaded  ;   remember  that. 

[Looking  through  the  net.]     You  have  a  fowling- 
piece  too,  I  see. 


That  is  father's  old  gun.  It's  of  no  use  now  ; 
something  has  gone  wrong  with  the  lock.  But  it's 
fun  to  have  it  all  the  same  ;  for  we  can  take  it  to 
pieces  now  and  then,  and  clean  and  grease  it,  and 
screw  it  together  again. — Of  course,  it's  mostly 
father  that  fiddle-faddles  with  all  that  sort  of 


[Beside  Gregers.]  Now  you  can  see  the  wild 
duck  properly. 

I  was  just  looking  at  her.     One  of  her  wings 
seems  to  me  to  droop  a  bit. 

Well,  no  wonder;  her  wing  was  broken,  you 

And  she  trails  one  foot  a  little.     Isn't  that  so  .'' 


Perhaps  a  very  little  bit. 

29^1  TIIK    WII.I)     DUCK.  [act    111. 

Yes,  it  was  by  that  foot  the  dog  took  hold  of 


But  otherwise  she  hasn't  the  least  thing  the 
matter  with  her;  and  that  is  simply  marvellous 
for  a  creature  that  has  a  charge  of  shot  in  her 
body,  and  has  been  between  a  dog's  teeth 


[fi'ith  a  glance  at  Hedvig] and  that  has  lain 

in  the  depths  of  the  sea — so  long. 

[^SmiHng.^     Yes. 


[Lai/iiig  the  table.]  That  blessed  wild  duck .' 
What  a  lot  of  fuss  you  do  make  over  her. 


H'm  ; — will  lunch  soon  be  ready .'' 


Yes,  directly.  Hedvig,  you  must  come  and 
help  me  now. 

[GiNA  and  Hedvig  go  out  into  the  kitchen. 


fin  a  low  voice.]  I  think  you  had  better  not 
stand  there  looking  in  at  father  ;  he  doesn't  like 
it.  [Gregers  moves  aivni/  from  the  garret  door.] 
Besides  I  may  as  well  shut  up  before  the  others 
come.  [Clap's  his  haiids  to  drive  the  fowls  bad'.] 
Shh— shh,  in  with  you!  [Drajvs  np  the  curtain 
and  pulls    the    doors    together.]     All    the    contri- 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  295 

vances  are  my  own  invention.  It's  really  quite 
amusing  to  have  things  of  this  sort  to  potter  with, 
and  to  put  to  rights  when  they  get  out  of  order. 
And  it's  absolutely  necessary,  too ;  for  Gina 
objects  to  having  rabbits  and  fowls  in  the  studio. 

To  be  sure ;  and  1  suppose  the  studio  is  your 
wife's  special  department .'' 


As  a  rule,  I  leave  the  everyday  details  of  busi- 
ness to  her ;  for  then  I  can  take  refuge  in  the 
parlour  and  give  my  mind  to  more  important 


What  things  may  they  be,  Hialmar? 


I  wonder  you  have  not  asked  that  question 
sooner.  But  perhaps  you  haven't  heard  of  the 
invention  ? 


The  invention  ?     No. 

Really  ?     Have  you  not  ?     Oh  no,  out  there  in 
the  wilds 

So  you  have  invented  something,  have  you  .'' 

It  is  not  quite  completed  yet ;  but  I  am  working 
at  it.    You  can  easily  imagine  that  when  1  resolved 
to  devote  myself  to  photography,  it  wasn't  simply 

2f)6  TllK     Wll.l)     1)1  fK.  [\(T    III. 

with  the  idea  of  taking  likenesses  ot  all  sorts  ot 
commonplace  people. 

No ;  your  wife  was  saying  the  same  thing  just 


I  swore  that  if  I  consecrated  my  powers  to  this 
handicraft,  I  would  so  exalt  it  that  it  should 
become  both  an  art  and  a  science.  And  to  that 
end  I  determined  to  make  this  great  invention 

And    what    is    the   nature   ot   the    invention? 
What  purpose  does  it  serve  ? 


Oh,  my  dear  fellow,  you  mustn't  ask  for  details 
yet.  It  takes,  time,  you  see.  And  you  must  not 
think  that  my  motive  is  vanity.  It  is  not  for  my 
own  sake  that  I  am  working.  Oh  no  ;  it  is  my 
life's  mission  that  stands  before  me  night  and  day. 

What  is  your  life's  mission  ? 


Do  you  forget  the  old  man  with  the  silver  hair  ? 

Your  poor  father  >     Well,  but  what  can  you  do 
for  him  ? 


I  can  raise  up  his  self-respect  from  the  dead,  by 
restoring  the  name  of  Ekdal  to  honour  and  dignity. 

act  iii.]  the  wild  duck.  297 

Then  that  is  your  life's  mission  ? 


Yes.  I  will  rescue  the  shipwrecked  man.  For 
shipwrecked  he  was,  by  the  very  first  blast  of  the 
storm.  Even  while  those  terrible  investigations 
were  going  on,  he  was  no  longer  himself.  That 
pistol  there — the  one  we  use  to  shoot  rabbits  with 
,  — has  played  its  part  in  the  tragedy  of  the  house 

The  pistol  ?     Indeed  ? 


When  the  sentence  of  imprisonment  was  passed 
— he  had  the  pistol  in  his  hand 

Had  he ? 


Yes;  but  he  dared  not  use  it.  His  courage 
failed  him.  So  broken,  so  demoralised  was  he 
even  then  !  Oh,  can  you  understaml  it  .''  He,  a 
soldier  ;  he,  who  had  shot  nine  bears,  and  who 
was  descended  from  two  lieutenant  colonels — 
one  after  the  other  of  course.  Can  you  understand 
it,  Gregers .'' 


Yes,  I  understand  it  well  enough. 


I  cannot.  And  once  more  the  pistol  played  a 
part  in  the  history  of  our  house.  When  he  had 
put  on  the  grey  clothes  and  was  under  lock  and 

2.<)8  TlIK     \VII,I)     Die   K.  [act    III. 

key — oh,  that  whs  a  terrible  time  for  me,  I  can 
tell  you.  1  kept  the  blinds  drawn  down  over  both 
my  windows.  When  I  f)eej)ed  «)ut,  I  saw  the  sun 
shining  as  if  nothing  had  hajjpened.  I  could  not 
understand  it.  I  saw  people  going  along  the 
street,  laughing  and  talking  about  indifferent 
things.  I  could  not  understand  it.  It  seemed  to 
me  that  the  whole  of  existence  must  be  at  a 
standstill — as  if  under  an  eclipse. 

I  felt  like  that  too,  when  my  mother  died. 


It  was   in   such   an   hour  that   Hialmar  Ekdal 
pointed  the  pistol  at  his  own  breast. 

You  too  thought  of ! 



But  you  did  not  fire  ? 

No.    At  the  decisive  moment  I  won  the  victory 
over  myself.    I  remained  in  life.    But  I  can  assure 
you  it  takes  some   courage   to  choose  life  under 
circumstances  like  those. 

Well,  that  depends  on  how  you  look  at  it. 

Yes,  indeed,  it  takes  courage.     But  I  am  glad  I 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  299 

was  firm :  for  now  I  shall  soon  perfect  my  inven- 
tion ;  and  Dr.  Relling  thinks,  as  I  do  myself,  that 
father  may  be  allowed  to  wear  his  uniform  again. 
I  will  demand  that  as  my  sole  reward. 

So    that    is   what    he   meant    about  his  uni- 
form  ? 


Yes,  that  is  what  he  most  yearns  for.  You  can't 
think  how  my  heart  bleeds  for  him.  Every  time 
we  celebrate  any  little  family  festival — Gina's  and 
iny  wedding  day,  or  whatever  it  may  be — in  comes 
the  old  man  in  the  lieutenant's  uniform  of  happier 
days.  But  if  he  only  hears  a  knock  at  the  door 
— for  he  daren't  show  himself  to  strangers,  you 
know — he  hurries  back  to  his  room  again  as  fast 
as  his  old  legs  can  carry  him.  Oh,  it's  heart- 
rending for  a  son  to  see  such  things ! 

How  long  do  you  think  it  will  take  you  to 
finish  your  invention  f 


Come  now,  you  mustn't  expect  me  to  enter  into 
particulars  like  that.  An  invention  is  not  a 
thing  completely  under  one's  own  control.  It 
depends  largely  on  inspiration — on  intuition — and 
it  is  almost  impossible  to  predict  when  the  inspira- 
tion may  come. 


But  it's  advancing  ? 


Yes,  certainly,  it  is  advancing.     I  turn  it  over  in 

300  TlIK     WII.I)     DICK.  [act 

my  mind  every  day;  I  am  full  of  it.  Every  after- 
noon, when  I  have  had  my  dinner,  I  shut  myself 
up  in  the  parlour,  where  I  can  ponder  undisturbed. 
But  I  can't  be  goaded  to  it ;  it's  not  a  bit  of  good  ; 
Railing  says  so  too. 

And  you  don't   think   that  all  that  business  in 
the  garret   draws  you   off  and   distracts    you  too 
much  ? 

HiAI.M  AH. 

No  no  no ;  quite  the  contrary.  You  mustn't 
say  that.  1  cannot  be  everlastingly  absorbed  in 
the  same  laborious  train  of  thought.  I  must  have 
something  alongside  of  it  to  fill  up  the  time  of 
waiting.  The  inspiration,  the  intuition,  you  see — 
when  it  comes,  it  comes,  and  there's  an  end  of  it. 

My  dear  Hialmar,  I  almost  think  you  have  some- 
thing of  the  wild  duck  in  you. 

Something   of  the  wild   duck  ?     How  do  you 
mean  r 


You  have  dived  down  and  bitten  yourself  fast  in 
the  undergrowth. 


Are  you  alluding  to  the  well-nigh  fatal  shot  that 
has  broken  my  father's  wing — and  mine  too  .'' 

Not  exactly  to  that.     I  don't  say  that  your  wing 
has  been  broken  ;    but  you    have  strayed  into  a 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  301 

poisonous  marsh,  Hialmar  ;  an  insidious  disease  has 
taken  hold  of  you,  and  you  have  sunk  down  to  die 
in  the  dark. 

I .''     To  die  in  the  dark  ?     Look   here,  Gregers, 
you  must  really  leave  off  talking  such  nonsense. 

Don't  be  afraid  ;  I  shall  find  a  way  to  help  you 
up  again.     I  too   have  a  mission  in  life  now ;  I 
found  it  yesterday. 

That's  all  very  well ;  but  you  will  please   leave 
me  out  of  it.     I  can  assure  you  that — apart  from 
my  very  natural  melancholy,  of  course — I  am  as' 
contented  as  any  one  can  wish  to  be. 


Your  contentment  is  an  effect  of  the  marsh 


Now,  my  dear  Gregers,  pray  do  not  go  on  about 
disease  and  poison  ;  I  am  not  used  to  that  sort 
of  talk.  In  my  house  nobody  ever  speaks  to  me 
about  unpleasant  things, 

Ah,  that  I  can  easily  believe. 

It's  not  good  for  me  you  see.  And  there  are 
no  marsh  poisons  here,  as  you  express  it.  The  poor 
photographer's  roof  is  lowly,  I  know — and  my  cir- 
cumstances are  narrow,  But  I  am  an  inventor, 
and  I  am  the  breadwinner  of  a  family.     That  exalts 

.'502  THK    WILD     DICK.  [aCT    III. 

me  above  my  mean  surroundings. — Ah,  here  comes 
lunch  ! 

GiNA  and  Hedvig  bring  hollies  of  ale,  a  decanter  oj 
hraiidi/,  g/axxe.s,  etc.  At  the  same  lime,  Relling 
and  SloLViK  enter  from  the  passage ;  they  are 
/>()th  n'ithout  hat  or  overcoat.  Molvik  is  dressed 
in  black. 


[Placing  the  things  upon  Ike  table.]     Ah,  you  two 
have  come  in  the  nick  of  time. 

Molvik  got  it  into  his  head  that  he  could  smell 
herring-salad,  and  then  there  was  no  holding  him. 
— Good  morning  again,  Ekdal. 


Gregers,  let  me  introduce  you  to  Mr.  Molvik. 
Doctor Oh,  you  know  Relling,  dont  you  ? 

Yes,  slightly. 

Oh,  Mr.  Werle,  junior  !     Yes,  we  two  have  had 
one  or   two   little  skirmishes    up   at    the    Hoidal 
works.     You've  just  moved  in  ? 

I  moved  in  this  morning. 

Molvik  and  I  live  right  under  you;  so  you  haven't 
far  to  go  for  the  doctor  and  the  clergyman,  if  you 
should  need  anything  in  that  line. 

.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  303 

Thanks,  it's  not  quite  unlikely  ;  for  yesterday  we 
were  thirteen  at  table. 


Oh,  come  now,  don't  let  us  get  upon  unpleasant 
subjects  again  ! 


You  may  make  your  mind  easy,  Ekdal ;  I'll  be 
hanged  if  the  finger  of  fate  points  to  you. 


I  should  hope  not,  for  the  sake  of  my  family. 
But  let  us  sit  down  now,  and  eat  and  drink  and  be 


Shall  we  not  wait  for  your  father .'' 


No,  his  lunch  will  be  taken  in  to  him  later. 
Come  along ! 

[The  men  seat  themselves  at  table,  and  eat 
and  drink.  Gina  and  Hedvig  go  in  and 
out  and  7vait  upon  them. 

Molvik  was  frightfully  screwed  yesterday,  Mrs. 

Really  ?     Yesterday  again  .'' 

Didn't  you  hear  him  when  I  brought  him  home 
last  night. 

304  THE   WILD    nucK.  [act  hi. 


No,  I  can't  say  I  did. 

That  was  a  good  thing,  for  Molvik  was  disgust- 
ing last  night. 


Is  that  true,  Molvik  ? 


Let  us  draw  a  veil  over  last  night's  proceedings. 
That  sort  of  thing  is  totally  foreign  to  my  better 


\To  Gregers  ]  It  comes  over  him  like  a  sort  of 
possession,  and  then  I  have  to  go  out  on  the  loose 
with  him.     Mr.  Molvik  is  daemonic,  you  see. 

Daemonic  ? 


Molvik  is  daemonic,  yes. 



And  daemonic  natures  are  not  made  to  walk 
straight  through  the  world  ;  they  must  meander 
a  little  now  and  then. — Well,  so  you  still  stick  up 
there  at  those  horrible  grimy  works .'' 

I  have  stuck  there  until  now. 

And  did  you  ever  manage  to  collect  that  claim 
you  went  about  presenting  ? 

act  iii.]  the  wild  duck.  305 

Claim?     [Understands  him.]     Ah,  I  see. 


Have  you  been  presenting  claims,  Gregei  s  } 

Ob,  nonsense. 


Faitb,  but  he  has,  though  !  He  went  round  to 
all  the  cottars'  cabins  presenting  something  he 
called  "  the  claim  of  the  ideal." 

I  was  young  then. 

You're  right;  you  were  very  young.     And  as 
for   the    claim   of  the   ideal — you   never   got  it 
honoured  while  /  was  up  there. 

Nor  since  either. 

Ah,  then  you've  learnt  to  knock  a  little  discount 
off,  I  expect. 


Never,  when  I  have  a  true  man  to  deal  with. 


No,  I  should  think  not,  indeed.  A  little  butter, 

And  a  slice  of  bacon  for  Molvik. 


Ugh  I  imt  bacon  !        [A  knock  at  the  garret  door. 

S06  TiiK   wii.n    DICK.  [act  hi. 


Open  the  door,  Iledvig ;  father  wants  to  come 

[Hedvig  goes  over  and  opens  the  door  a 
liltlc  iratf  ;  \\v^V)\\,  eiders  with  n  fresh 
rahbil-s/iiii  ;  she  closes  the  duor  aj'ler  him. 

Good  morning,  gentlemen  I    Good  sport  to-day. 
Shot  a  big  one. 


And  you've  gone  and  skinned  it  without  waiting 

for  m  e I 


Salted  it  too.  It's  good  tender  meat,  is  rabbit; 
it's  sweet ;  it  tastes  like  sugar.  Good  appetite 
to  you,  gentlemen  !  [Goes  into  his  room. 


[Hmng.^     Excuse  me ;    I  can't ;   I  must 

get  downstairs  immediately 

Drink  some  soda  water,  man  ! 


[Hurrying  awai/.]     Ugh — ugh  I 

[Goes  Old  by  the  passage  door. 

[To  HiALMAR.]     Let  us  drain  a  glass  to  the  old 


[Clinics  glasses  trilh  him.]  To  the  imdaunted 
sportsman  who  has  looked  death  in  the  face  ! 

act  iii.]  the  wild  duck.  307 


To  the  grey-haired [Drinks.]     By-the-bye, 

is  his  hair  grey  or  white  ? 


Something  between  the  two,  I  fancy ;  for  that 
matter,  he  has  very  few  hairs  left  of  any  colour. 

Well  well,  one  can  get  through  the  world  with 
a  wig.     After  all,  you  are  a  happy  man,  Ekdal  ; 
you  have  your  noble  mission  to  labour  for 


And  I  do  labour,  I  can  tell  you. 

And  then  you  have  your  excellent  wife,  shuffling 
quietly  in  and  out  in  her  felt  slippers,  with  that 
see-saw  walk  of  hers,  and  making  everything  cosy 
and  comfortable  about  you. 


Yes,  Gina — [Nods  to  her] — you  are  a  good  help- 
mate on  the  path  of  life. 

Oh,  don't  sit  there  cricketizing  me 

And  your  Hedvig  too,  Ekdal ! 


[Affected.]  The  child,  yes  !  The  child  before 
everything  !  Hedvig,  come  here  to  me.  [Strokes 
her  hair.]     What  day  is  it  to-morrow,  eh  ? 

.'J08  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [\CT    III. 

[Shaking  him.]     Oh    no,  you're   not  to  say  any- 
thing, father 


It  cuts  me  to  the  heart  when  I  think  what  a 
poor  affair  it  will  be ;  only  a  little  festivity  in  the 



Oh,  but  that's  just  what  I  like! 

Just  you  wait  till  the  wonderful  invention  sees 
the  light,  Hedvig  ! 


Yes  indeed — then  you  shall  see !     Hedvig, 

I  have  resolved  to  make  your  future  secure.  You 
shall  live  in  comfort  all  your  days.  I  will  demand 
— something  or  other — on  your  behalf  That 
shall  be  the  poor  inventor's  sole  reward. 


[Whispering,  irith  her  arms  round  his  neck.]  Oh 
you  dear,  kind  father  ! 


[To  Gregers.]  Come  now,  don't  you  find  it 
pleasant,  for  once  in  a  way,  to  sit  at  a  well-spread 
table  in  a  happy  family  circle  } 


Ah  yes,  I  really  prize  these  social  hours. 

For  my  part,  I  don't  thrive  in  marsh  vapours. 

act  iii.]  the  wild  duck.  309 

Marsh  vapours  ? 


Oh,  don't  begin  with  that  stuff  again  ! 


Goodness  knows  there's  no  vapours  in  this 
house,  Mr.  Werle  ;  I  give  the  place  a  good  airing 
every  blessed  day. 

\^Leaves  the  table.]     No  airing  you  can  give  will 
drive  out  the  taint  I  mean. 


Taint ! 


Yes,  what  do  you  say  to  that,  Ekdal ! 

Excuse  me — may  it  not  be  you  yourself  that 
have  brought   the   taint   from    those    mines    up 
there .'' 

It  is  like  you    to  call  what   I  bi'ing  into  this 
house  a  taint. 

[Goes  up  to  fmn.]    Look  here,  Mr  Werle,  junior  : 
I  have  a  strong  suspicion  that  you  are  still  cairy- 
ing  about  that  "  claim  of  the  ideal "  large  as  life, 
in  your  coat-tail  pocket. 

I  carry  it  in  my  breast 

310  TUK     WILD     UU(  K.  [aCT    III. 

Well,  wherever  you  carry  it,  I  advise  you  not  to 
come  dunning  us  with  it  here,  so  long  as  /  am  on 
the  premises. 

And  if  I  do  so  none  the  less  ? 

Then  you'll  go  head- foremost  down  the  stairs  ; 
now  I've  warned  you. 


[Rising.]     Oh,  but  Relling ! 

Yes,  you  may  turn  me  out 


[Interpositig  between  them.]  We  can't  have  that, 
Relling.  But  I  must  say,  Mr.  Werle,  it  ill 
becomes  you  to  talk  about  vapours  and  taints, 
after  all  the  mess  you  made  with  your  stove. 

[A  knock  at  the  passage  door. 

Mother,  there's  somebody  knocking. 


There  now,  we're  going  to  have  a  whole  lot  of 
people  ! 


I'll  go [Goes  over  and  opens  the  door,  starts, 

and  draws  hack.]     Oh — oh  dear  ! 

Werle,  in  a   fur  coat,  advances  one  step 
into  the  room. 

ACT    III.]  THK     WILD     DUCK. 


Excuse  me  ;  but  I  think  my  son  is  staying  here. 


[With  a  gulp.]     Yes. 


[Approaching  ki7n.]     Won't  you  do  us  the  honour 

to ? 

Thank  you,  I  merely  wish  to  speak  to  my  son, 

What  is  it .''     Here  I  am. 

I  want  a  few  words  with  you,  in  your  room. 

In  my  room  ?     Very  well [Abotd  to  go. 


No,  no,  your  room's  not  in  a  fit  state 

Well  then,  out  in  the  passage  here ;  I  want  to 
have  a  few  words  with  you  alone. 

You  can  have  them  here,  sir.     Come  into  tlie 
parlour.  Railing. 

[Hialmar  and  Relling  go  off  to  the  right. 
Gina  takes  Hedvig  with  her  into  the 

312  TllK     WILD     OrCK.  [act    111. 

[After  a  short  pause.]     Well,  now  we  are  alone. 

From  something  you  let  fall   last  evening,  and 
from  your  coming  to  lodge   with   the   Ekdals,   I 
can't  help  inferring  that  you  intend  to  make  your- 
self unpleasant  to  me,  in  one  way  or  another. 

I  intend  to  open   Hialmar  Ekdals  eyes.     He 
shall  see  his  position  as  it  really  is — that  is  all. 

Is  that  the  mission  in  life  you  spoke  of  yester- 


Yes.     You  have  left  me  no  other. 

Is  it  I,  then,  that  have  crippled  your  mind, 
Gregers .'' 

You   have  crippled  my  whole   life.     I   am  not 

thinking  of  all  that  about  mother But  it's 

thanks  to  you  that  I  am  continually  haunted  and 
harassed  by  a  guilty  conscience. 

Indeed!     It  is  your  conscience   that  troubles 
you,  is  it  ? 

I  ought  to  have  taken  a  stand  against  you  when 
the  trap  was  set  for  Lieutenant  Ekdal.     I   ought 

THE     WILD     DUCK.  313 

to  have  cautioned  him  ;  for  I  had  a  misgiving  as  to 
what  was  in  the  wind. 

Yes,  that  was  the  time  to  have  spoken. 

I  did  not  dare  to,  I  was  so  cowed  and  spiritless. 
I  was  mortally  afraid  of  you — not  only  then,  but 
long  afterwards. 

You  have  got  over  that  fear  now,  it  appears. 

Yes,  fortunately.    The  wrong  done  to  old  Ekdal, 
l)oth  by  me  and  by — others,  can  never  be  undone  ; 
but  Hialmar  I  can  rescue  from  all  the  falsehood 
and  deception  that  are  bringing  him  to  ruin. 

Do  you  think  that  will  be  doing  him  a  kind- 
ness ? 

1  have  not  the  least  doubt  of  it. 

You  think  our  worthy  photographer  is  the  sort 
of  man  to  appreciate  such  friendly  offices  .'' 

Yes,  I  do. 

H'm — we  shall  see. 

314  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    III 


Besides,  if  I  am  to  <fo  on  living,  I  must  try  to 
find  some  cure  for  my  sick  conscience. 

It  will    never  be  sound.     Your  conscience  has 
been   sickly   from  childhood.      That    is   a   lef^acy 
from  your  mother,  Gregers — the  only  one  she  left 

[fVilh  a  scornful  half-smile.]     Have  you  not  yet 
forgiven  her  for  the  mistake  you  made  in  supposing 
she  would  bring  you  a  fortune .'' 

Don't  let  us  wander  from  the  point. — Then  you 
hold  to  your  purpose  of  setting  young  Kkdal  upon 
what  you  imagine  to  be  the  right  scent .'' 

Yes,  that  is  my  fixed  resolve. 

Well,  in  that  case  I  might  have  spared  myselt 
this  visit ;  for  of  course  it  is  useless  to  ask  whether 
you  will  return  home  with  me  ? 

Quite  useless. 

And  I  suppose  you  won't  enter  the  firm  either? 


act  hi.]  the   wild   duck.  315 

Very  good.     But  as  I  am  thinking  of  marrying 
again,  your  share  in  the  property  will  fall  to  you 
at  onee.i 

[Quick/y.^     No,  I  do  not  want  that. 

You  don't  want  it } 

No,  I  dare  not  take  it,  for  conscience'  sake. 

[After  a  patise.^     Are  you  going  up  to  the  works 
again .'' 

No ;    I    consider   myself  released    from    your 

But  what  are  you  going  to  do  ? 

Only  to  fulfil  my  mission  ;  nothing  more. 

Well,  but  afterwards  .'*     What  are  you  going  to 
live  upon  ? 

I  have  laid  by  a  little  out  of  my  salary. 

*  By  Norwegian  law,  before  a  widower  can  mnrry  again, 
a  certain  proportion  of  his  property  must  be  settled  on  his 
children  by  his  former  marriage. 

3l6  TJIK     WILD     DUCK.  [act    III. 

How  long  ■will  that  last? 

I  think  it  will  last  my  time. 

What  do  you  mean  ? 

!  shall  answer  no  more  questions. 

Good-bye  then,  Gregers. 

Good-bye.  [Werle  goes. 


[Peeping  in.^     He's  gone,  isn't  he  .'' 


HiALMAR  and  Relling  enter  ;  also  Gina  and 
Wedmg  from  the  kitchen. 

That  luncheon-party  was  a  failure. 

Put  on  your  coat,  Hialmar;  I  want  you  to  come 
for  a  long  walk  with  me. 


With  pleasure.   What  was  it  your  father  wanted  ? 
Had  it  anything  to  do  with  me  } 

ACT    III.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  317 


Come  along.  We  must  have  a  talk.  I'll  go 
and  put  on  my  overcoat. 

'^Goes  Old  hy  the  passage  door. 


You  shouldn't  go  out  with  him,  Ekdal. 

No,  don't  you  do  it.     Stay  where  you  are. 


\Gets  his  hat  and  overcoatJ\  Oh,  nonsense  !  When 
a  friend  of  my  youth  feels  impelled  to  open  his 
mind  to  me  in  private 

But  devil  take  it — don't  you  see  that  the  fellow's 
mad,  cracked,  demented  ! 


There,  what  did  I  tell  you  !  His  mother  before 
him  had  crazy  fits  like  that  sometimes. 


The  more  need  for  a  friend's  watchful  eye. 
[T'o  GiNA.]  Be  sure  you  have  dinner  ready  in 
good  time.     Good-bye  for  the  present. 

\^Goes  out  by  the  passage  door. 

It's  a  thousand  pities  the  fellow  didn't  go  to 
hell  through  one  of  the  Hoidal  mines. 


Good  Lord  !  what  makes  you  say  that } 

318  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    III. 

[Muttering.'^     Oh,  I  have  iny  own  reasons. 


Do  you  think  young  Werle  is  really  mad  } 

No,   worse  luck ;    he's  no  madder  than  most 
other  people.     But  one  disease  he  has  certainly 
got  in  his  system. 


What  is  it  that's  the  matter  with  him  ? 

Well,  I'll  tell  you,  Mrs.  Ekdal.     He  is  suffering 
from  an  acute  attack  of  integrity. 


Integrity  ? 

Is  that  a  kind  of  disease  .'* 

Yes,  it's  a   national  disease  ;  but  it  only  ap- 
pears   sporadically.       [Nods   to    Gina.]       Thanks 
for  your  hospitality. 

[He  goes  out  by  the  passage  door. 


[Moving  restlessly/  to  and  fro.]    Ugh,  that  Gregers 
Werle — he  was  always  a  wretched  creature. 

[Standing  Inj  the  table,  and  looking  searcliingly  at 
her.]     1  think  all  this  is  very  strange. 


HiALMAR  Ekdal's  studio.  A  photograph  has  just 
been  taken ;  a  camera  with  the  cloth  over  it,  a 
pedestal,  two  chairs,  a  folding  table,  etc.,  are  stand- 
ing out  in  the  room.  AJiernoon  light ;  the  sun  is 
going  down  ;  a  little  later  it  begins  to  grow  dusk. 

GiNA  stands  in  the  passage  doorivay,  ivith  a  little 
box  and  a  wet  glass  plate  in  her  hand,  and  is  speak- 
ing to  somebody  outside. 


Yes,  certainly.  When  I  make  a  promise  I  keep 
it.  The  first  dozen  shall  be  ready  on  Monday. 
Good  afternoon. 

[Some  one  is  heard  going  donmstairs.  Gina 
shuts  the  door,  slips  the  plate  into  the  box, 
and  puts  it  into  the  covered  camera. 

[Comes  in  from  the  kitchen.]    Are  they  gone  ? 

[Tidying  ?</?.]    Yes,  thank  goodness,  I've  got  rid 
of  them  at  last. 


But  can  you  imagine  why  father  hasn't  come 
home  yet } 


Are  you  sure  he's  not  down  in  Relling's  room  ? 

320  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT   IV. 

No,  he's  not ;  I  ran  down  the  kitchen  stair  just 
now  and  asked. 


And  his  dinner  standing  and  getting  cold,  too. 

Yes,  I  can't  understand  it.     Father's  always  so 
careful  to  be  home  to  dinner  ! 


Oh,  he'll  be  here  directly,  you'll  see. 

I  wish  he  would  come ;  everything   seems  so 
queer  to-day. 


[Calls  out.]    There  he  is ! 

HiALMAR  Ekdal  cojues  in  at  the  passage  door. 

[Goi?ig  to  hijn.]    Father  !   Oh  what  a  time  we've 
been  waiting  for  you  ! 


[Glancing  sidelong  at  him.]     You've   been  out  a 
long  time,  Ekdal. 

[Without  looking  at  her.]     Rather  long,  yes. 

[He  takes  off  his  overcoat;  Gina  and  Hed- 
vig go  to  help  him  ;  he  motions  them  away. 


Perhaps  you've  had  dinner  with  Werle .'' 

iCT    IV.l  THE    WILD    DUCK. 



[Hanging  up  his  co«/.]    No. 

Gin  A. 

[Going  towards  the  kitchen  door.]  Then  I'll  bring 
some  in  for  you, 


No  ;  let  the  dinner  alone.  I  want  nothing  to  eat. 

[Going  nearer  to  him.]    Are  you  not  well,  father  ? 


Well  ?  Oh  yes,  well  enough.  We  have  had  a 
tiring  walk,  Gregers  and  I. 


You  didn't  ought  to  have  gone  so  far,  Ekdal 
you're  not  used  to  it. 


H'm  ;  there's  many  a  thing  a  man  must  get  used 
to  in  this  world.  [  Wanders  about  the  room.]  Has 
any  one  been  here  whilst  I  was  out .'' 


Nobody  but  the  two  sweethearts. 


No  new  orders  ? 


No,  not  to-day. 

There  will  be  some  to-morrow,  father,  you'll 

'322  THE    WILD    DUCK.  j^ACT    IV. 


I  hope  there  will ;  for  to  morrow  I  am  going  to 
set  to  work  in  real  earnest. 

To-morrow  !  Don't  you  remember  what  day  it  is 
to-morrow  ? 


Oh  yes,  by-the-bye .     Well,  the  day  after, 

then.   Henceforth  I  mean  to  do  everything  myself; 
I  shall  take  all  the  work  into  my  own  hands. 


Why,  what  can  be  the  good  of  that,  Ekdal  ?  It'll 
only  make  your  life  a  burden  to  you.  I  can  manage 
the  photography  all  right  ;  and  you  can  go  on 
working  at  your  invention. 

And  think  of  the  wild  duck,  father, — and  all  the 
hens  and  rabbits  and I 


Don't  talk  to  me  of  all  that  trash  !  From  to- 
morrow I  will  never  set  foot  in  the  garret  again. 

Oh  but,  father,  you  promised  that  we  should  have 
a  little  party 


H'm,  true.  Well  then,  from  the  day  after  to- 
morrow. 1  should  almost  like  to  wring  that  cursed 
wild  duck's  neck ! 


\Shrie/c.s:\      The  wild  duck  ! 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  323 


Well  I  never ! 

[Shaki7ig  kirn.]    Oh  no,  father ;  you  know  it's  my 
wild  duck  ! 


That  is  why  I  don't  do  it.  I  haven't  the  heart 
to- — for  your  sake,  Hedvig.  But  in  my  inmost 
soul  I  feel  that  1  ought  to  do  it.  I  ought  not  to 
tolerate  under  my  roof  a  creature  that  has  been 
through  those  hands. 


Why,  good  gracious,  even  if  grandfather  did  get 
it  from  that  poor  creature,  Pettersen 


[Wandering  abojit.]  There  are  certain  claims — 
what  shall  I  call  them  ?—  let  me  say  claims  of  the 
ideal — certain  obligations,  which  a  man  cannot  dis- 
regard without  injury  to  his  soul. 

[Going  after  him.]     But  think  of  the  wild  duck, 
— the  poor  wild  duck ! 


[Stops.]  I  tell  you  I  will  spare  it — for  your  sake. 
Not  a  hair  of  its  head  shall  be — I  mean,  it  shall  bo 
spared.  There  are  greater  problems  than  that  to 
be  dealt  with.  But  you  should  go  out  a  little  now, 
Hedvig,  as  usual  ;  it  is  getting  dusk  enough  for 
you  now. 


No,  I  don't  care  about  going  out  now. 

324  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


Yes  do  ;  it  seems  to  me  your  eyes  are  blinking  a 
great  deal ;  all  these  vapours  in  here  are  bad  for 
you.    The  air  is  heavy  under  this  roof. 

Very  well  then,  I'll  run  down  the  kitchen  stair 
and  go  for  a  little  walk.     My  cloak  and  hat  ? — oh, 
they're  in  my  own  room.   Father — be  sure  you  don't 
do  the  wild  duck  any  harm  whilst  I'm  out. 


Not  a  feather  of  its  head  shall  be  touched. 
[^Dratvs  her  to  A«?h.]    You  and  I,  Hedvig — we  two 

!    Well,  go  along. 

[Hedvig  nods  to  her  parents  and  goes  out 
through  the  kitchen. 


[  Walks  about  without  looking  up.'\    Gina. 


Yes } 


From  to-morrow — or,  say,  from  the  day  after 
to-morrow — I  should  like  to  keep  the  household 
account-book  myself. 


Do  you  want  to  keep  the  accounts  too,  now  .-* 


Yes  ;  or  to  check  the  receipts  at  any  rate. 


Lord  help  us!  that's  soon  done. 


ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  325 


One  would  nardly  think  so  ;  at  any  rate  you 
seem  to  make  the  money  go  a  very  long  way.  [Stops 
and  looks  at  her.]     How  do  you  manage  it  ? 


It's  because  me  and  Hedvig,  we  need  so  little. 


Is  it  the  case  that  father  is  very  liberally  paid 
for  the  copying  he  does  for  Mr.  Wei'le .'' 


I  don't  know  as  he  gets  anything  out  of  the  way. 
I  don't  know  the  rates  for  that  sort  of  work. 


Well,  what  does  he  get,  about  ?     Let  me  hear ! 


Oh,  it  varies  ;  I  daresay  it'll  come  to  about  as 
much  as  he  costs  us,  with  a  little  pocket-money 


As  much  as  he  costs  us  !  And  you  have  never 
told  me  this  before  ! 


No,  how  could  I  tell  you  }  It  pleased  you  so 
much  to  think  he  got  everything  from  you. 


And  he  gets  it  from  Mr.  Werle. 


Oh  well,  he  has  plenty  and  to  spare,  he  has. 

326  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


Light  the  lamp  for  me,  please  ! 


[Lighting  the  lainp.^  And  of  course  we  don't 
know  as  it's  Mr.  VVerle  himself;  it  may  be 


Why  attempt  such  an  evasion  ? 

Gin  A. 
I  don't  know  ;  I  only  thought 




It  wasn't  me  that  got  grandfather  that  copying. 
It  was  Bertha,  when  she  used  to  come  about  us. 


It  seems  to  me  your  voice  is  trembling. 


[Putting  the  lamp-shade  ow.]     Is  it  ? 


And  your  hands  are  shaking,  are  they  not  ? 


[Firmly.'\  Come  right  out  with  it,  Ekdal.  What 
has  he  been  saying  about  me  ? 


Is  it  true — can  it  be  true  that — that  there  was 
an — an  understanding  between  you  an  J  Mr.  Werle, 
while  you  were  in  service  there  } 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  327 


That's  not  true.  Not  at  that  time.  Mr.  Werle 
did  come  after  me,  that's  a  fact.  And  his  wife 
thought  there  was  something  in  it,  and  then  she 
made  such  a  hocus-pocus  and  hurly-burly,  and  she 
hustled  me  and  bustled  me  about  so,  that  I  left 
her  service. 


But  afterwards,  then  .-* 


Well,  then  1  went  home.  And  mother — well, 
she  wasn't  the  woman  you  took  her  for,  Ekdal ; 
she  kept  on  worrying  and  worrying  at  me  about 
one  thing  and  another — for  Mr.  Werle  was  a 
widower  by  that  time. 


Well,  and  then  ? 


I  suppose  you've  got  to  know  it.  He  gave  me 
no  peace  until  he'd  had  his  way. 


[Striki7ig  his  hands  together.']  And  this  is  the 
mother  of  my  child  !  How  could  you  hide  this 
from  me  ? 


Yes,  it  was  wrong  of  me  ;  I  ought  certainly  to 
have  told  you  long  ago. 


You  should  have  told  me  at  the  very  first ; — 
then  I  should  have  known  the  sort  of  woman  you 

328  TIIK    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


But  would  you  have  married  me  all  the  same  ? 


How  can  you  dream  that  I  would  ? 


That's  just  why  I  didn't  dare  tell  you  anything, 
then.  For  I'd  come  to  care  for  you  so  much,  you 
see ;  and  I  couldn't  go  and  make  myself  utterly 


[  Walks  ahout.^  And  this  is  my  Hedvig's  mother. 
And  to  know  that  all  I  see  before  me — [Kicks  at 
a  chair] — all  that  1  call  my  home — I  owe  to  a 
favoured  predecessor !    Oh  that  scoundrel  Werle  ! 


Do  you  repent  of  the  fourteen — the  fifteen 
years  as  we've  lived  together  ? 


[Placing  himself  in  front  of  her. \  Have  you  not 
every  day,  every  hour,  repented  of  the  spider's-weh 
of  deceit  you  have  spun  around  me  }  Answer 
me  that !  How  could  you  help  writhing  with 
penitence  and  remorse  } 


Oh,  my  dear  Ekdal,  I've  had  all  I  could  do  to 
look  after  the  house  and  get  through  the  day's 


Then  you  never  think  of  reviewing  your  past  ^ 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD     DUCK,  329 


No ;  Heaven  knovi's  I'd  almost  forgotten  those 
old  stories. 


Oh,  this  dull,  callous  contentment !  To  me 
there  is  something  revolting  about  it.  Think  of 
it — never  so  much  as  a  twinge  of  remorse  ! 


But  tell  me,  Ekdal — what  would  have  become 
of  you  if  you  hadn't  had  a  wife  like  me  .'' 


Like  you ! 


Yes;  for  you  know  I've  always  been  a  bit  more 
practical  and  wide-awake  than  you.  Of  course 
I'm  a  year  or  two  older. 


What  would  have  become  of  me  ! 


You'd  got  into  all  sorts  of  bad  ways  when  first 
you  met  me  ;  that  you  can't  deny. 


"  Bad  ways  "  do  you  call  them  .''  Little  do  you 
know  what  a  man  goes  through  when  he  is  in 
grief  and  despair — especially  a  man  of  my  fiery 


Well,  well,  that  may  be  so.  And  I've  no  reason 
to  crow  over  you,  neither ;  for  you  turned  a  moral 

330  TiiK  wiiA)    niicK.  [act  IV. 

of  a  husband,  that  you  did,  as  soon  as  ever  you 
had  a  house  and  home  of  your  own.  —  And  now 
we'd  got  everything  so  nice  and  cosy  about  us  ; 
and  me  and  Hedvig  was  just  thinking  we'd  soon 
be  able  to  let  ourselves  go  a  bit,  in  the  way  of 
both  food  and  clothes. 


In  the  swamp  of  deceit,  yes. 


I  wish  to  goodness  that  detestable  being  had 
never  set  his  foot  inside  our  doors  ! 


And  I,  too,  thought  my  home  such  a  pleasant 
one.  That  was  a  delusion.  Where  shall  I  now 
find  the  elasticity  of  spirit  to  bring  my  invention 
into  the  world  of  reality.^  Perhaps  it  will  die 
with  me  ;  and  then  it  will  be  your  past,  Gina, 
that  will  have  killed  it. 


[Nearly  crywg.]  You  mustn't  say  such  things, 
Ekdal.  Me,  that  has  only  wanted  to  do  the 
best  I  could  for  you,  all  my  days  ! 


I  ask  you,  what  becomes  of  the  breadwinner's 
dream  ?  When  I  used  to  lie  in  there  on  the  sofa 
and  brood  over  my  invention,  I  had  a  clear 
enough  presentiment  that  it  would  sap  my  vitality 
to  the  last  drop.  I  felt  even  then  that  the  day 
when  I  held  the  patent  in  my  hand — that  day  — 
would  bring  my — release.     And  tlien  it  was  my 


THE    WILD     DUCK.  331 

dream  that  you  should  live  on  after  me,  the  dead 
inventor's  well-to-do  widow. 


[Drymg  her  tears.]  No,  you  mustn't  talk  like 
that,  Ekdal.  May  the  Lord  never  let  me  see  the 
day  I  am  left  a  widow  ! 


Oh,  the  whole  dream  has  vanished.  It  is  all 
over  now.     All  over  ! 

Gregers  Werle  opens  ike  passage  door  cautiously 
and  looks  in. 

May  I  come  in  "^ 

Yes,  come  in. 

[Comes  forward,  his  face  beaviing  with  satisfaction, 
and  holds  out  both  his  hands  to  them.'\     Well,  dear 

friends !     [Looks  from  one  to  the  other,  and 

whispers  to  Hialmar.]    Have  you  not  done  it  yet .'' 

Aloud.]     It  is  done. 

It  is? 

I  have  passed  through  the  bitterest  moments  of 
my  life. 


But  also,  I  trust,  the  most  ennobling. 

S3^2  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


Well,  at  any  rate,  we  have  got  through  it  for 
the  present. 


God  forgive  you,  Mr.  Werle. 

[In  great  surprise.]     But  I  don't  understand  this. 


What  don't  you  understand  .'' 

After  so  great  a  crisis — a  crisis  that  is  to  be  the 
starting-point  of  an   entirely  new  life — of  a  com- 
munion founded  on  truth,  and  free  from  all  taint 
of  deception 


Yes  yes,  I  know  ;  I  know  that  quite  well. 


I   confidently    expected,  when  I   entered    the 

room,  to  find  the  light  of  transfiguration  shining 

upon  me  from  both  husband  and  wife.      And  now 

I  see  nothing  but  dulness,  oppression,  gloom 


Oh,  is  that  it  }  \_Takes  off  the  lamp-shade. 

You  will  not  understand  me,  Mrs.  Ekdal.     Ah 

well,  you,  I  suppose,  need  time  to .     But  you, 

Hialmar  ?     Surely    you  feel  a  new    consecration 
after  the  great  crisis. 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  S3S 


Yes,  of  course  I  do.     That  is— in  a  sort  of  way. 

For  surely  nothing  in  the  woi-ld  can  compare 
with  the  joy  of  forgiving  one  who  has  erred,  and 
raising  her  up  to  oneself  in  love. 


Do  you  think  a  man  can  so  easily  throw  off  the 
effects  of  the  bitter  cup  I  have  drained  } 

No,  not  a  common  man,  perhaps.     But  a  man 
like  you ! 


Good  God  !  I  know  that  well  enough.  But  you 
must  keep  me  up  to  it,  Gregers.  It  takes  time, 
you  know. 


You  have  much  of  the  wild  duck  in  you, 

Relling  has  come  in  at  the  passage  door. 

Oho  I  is  the  wild  duck  to  the  fore  again  .^ 


Yes ;  Mr.  Werle's  wing-broken  victim. 


Mr.  Werle's .''     So  it's  him  you  are  talking 

about  ? 


Him  and — ourselves. 

.334  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 

[hi  an  undertone  to  Gregers.]     May  the  devil  fly 
away  with  you  ! 


What  is  that  you  are  saying  ? 


Only  uttering  a  heartfelt  wish  that  this  quack- 
salver would  take  himself  off.  If  he  stays  here, 
he  is  quite  equal  to  making  an  utter  mess  of  life, 
for  both  of  you. 


These  two  will  not  make  a  mess  of  life,  Mr. 
Relling.  Of  course  1  won't  speak  of  Hialmar — 
him  we  know.  But  she,  too,  in  her  innermost 
heart,  has  certainly  something  loyal  and  sin- 


[Abnost  crtjing.]  You  might  have  let  me  alone 
for  what  I  was,  then. 

[To  Gregers  ]     Is  it  rude  to  ask  what  you  really 
want  in  this  house  ? 

To  lay  the  foundations  of  a  true  marriage. 

So  you  don't  think  Ekdal's  marriage  is  good 
enough  as  it  is  ? 


No  doubt  it  is  as  good  a  marriage  as  most  others, 
worse  luck.  But  a  true  marriage  it  has  yet  to 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  335 


You  have  never  had  eyes  for  the  claims  of  the 
ideal,  Relling. 

Rubbish,  my  boy  ! — But  excuse  me,  Mr.  VVerle  : 
how  many — in    round  numbers — how  many  true 
marriages  have  you  seen  in  the  course  ot   your 

Scarcely  a  single  one. 

Nor  I  either. 

But  I  have  seen   innumerable  marriages  of  the 
opposite  kind.     And  it  has  been  my  fate  to  see  at 
close  quarters  what  ruin  such  a  marriage  can  work 
in  two  human  souls. 


A  man's  whole  moral  basis  may  give  away  be 
neath  his  feet;  that  is  the  terrible  part  of  it. 


Well,  I  can't  say  I've  ever  been  exactly  married, 

so  I  don't  pretend  to  speak  with  authority.     But 

this  I  know,  that  the  child  enters  into  the  marriage 

problem.      And  you  must  leave  the  child  in  peace. 


Oh — Hedvig  !  my  poor  Hedvig  ! 

Yes,  you  must  be  ^ood  enough  to  keep  Hedvig 
outside  of  all  this.  You  two  are  grown-up  people  ; 
you  are  free,  in   God's  name,  to  make  what  mess 

336  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT 

and  muddle  you  please  of  your  life.  But  you  must 
deal  cautiously  with  Hedvig,  I  tell  you  ;  else  you 
may  do  her  a  great  injury. 


An  injury  ! 

Yes,  or  she  may  do  herself  an  injury — and  per- 
haps others  too. 


How  can  you  know  that,  Relling  } 


Her  sight  is  in  no  immediate  danger,  is  it } 

I  am  not  talking  about  her  sight.      Hedvig  is  at 
a  critical  age.     She  may  be   getting  all   sorts  of 
mischief  into  her  head. 


That's  true — I've  noticed  it  already!  She's 
taken  to  carrying  on  with  the  fire,  out  in  the 
kitchen.  She  calls  it  playing  at  house-on-fire. 
I'm  often  scai'ed  for  fear  she  really  sets  fire  to  the 


You  see  ;  I  thought  as  much. 

[To  Relling.]    But  how  do  you  account  for  that.-* 

[Sullenly.]     Her  constitution's  changing,  sir. 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  337 


So  long  as  the  child  has  me !     So  long  as 

/  am  above  ground !  [A  knock  at  the  door. 


Hush,  Ekdal ;  there's  some  one  in  the  passage. 
[Cal/s  out.]     Come  in  ! 

[Mrs.  SorbYj  in  walking  dress,  comes  in. 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
Good  evening. 


[Going  towards  her\     Is  it  really  you,  Bertha  } 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 

Yes,  of  course  it  is.     But  I'm  disturbing  you, 
I'm  afraid .'' 


No,  not  at  all ;  an  emissary  from  that  house 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
[To  GiNA.]     To  tell   the   truth,   I   hoped  your 
men-folk  would  be  out  at  this  time.      I  just  ran 
up  to  have  a  little  chat  with  you,  and  to  say  good- 


Good-bye  .''     Are  you  going  away,  then  } 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Yes,  to-morrow  morning, — up  to  Hoidal.     Mr. 
Werle  started  this  afternoon.    [Lightly  to  Gregers] 
He  asked  me  to  say  good-bye  for  him. 


Only  fancy I 

338  THE   \\\LT)    niTK.     .  [act  IV. 


So  Mr.  Werle  has  gone  ?     And  now  you  are 
going  after  him  ? 

Mrs.  Sorby 
Yes,  what  do  you  say  to  that,  Ekdal  ? 


I  say  ;  beware  ! 

I  must  explain  the  situation.     My  father  and 
Mrs.  Sorby  are  going  to  be  married. 


Going  to  be  married  ! 


Oh  Bertha  !     So  it's  come  to  that  at  last  ! 

[His  voice  quivering  a  Utile.]     This  is  surely  not 
true .'' 

Mrs.  Sorby. 

Yes,  my  dear  Relling,  it's  true  enough. 

You  are  going  to  marry  again  ? 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Yes,  it  looks  like  it.     Werle  has  got  a  special 
licence,   and   we   are   going  to  be   married  quite 
quietly,  up  at  the  works. 

Then   I   must  wish    you    all    happiness,  like  a 
dutiful  stej)Son. 

act  iv.]  the  wild   duck.  339 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Thank  you  very  much — it  you  mean  what  you 
say.     I  certainly  hope  it  will  lead   to  happiness, 
both  for  Werle  and  for  me. 

You  have  every  reason  to  hope  that.    Mr.  Werle 
never  gets  drunk — so  far  as  1  know ;  and  I  don't 
suppose  he's  in  the  habit  of  thrashing  his  wives, 
like  the  late  lamented  horse- doctor. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Come  now,  let  Sorby  rest  in  peace.     He  had 
his  good  points  too. 

Mr.  Werle  has  better  ones,  I  have  no  doubt. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
He  hasn't  frittered  away  all  that  was  good  in 
him,  at  any  rate.     The  man  who  does  that  must 
take  the  consequences. 

I  shall  go  out  with  Molvik  this  evening. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
You  musn't  do  that,  Relling.     Don't  do  it — for 
my  sake. 

There's   nothing   else    for   it.     [T'o    Hialmar.] 
If  you're  going  with  us,  come  along. 


No,  thank  yon.     Ekdal  doesn't  go  in  for  that 
sort  of  dissertation. 

340  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


[Half  "^o«rf,  in  vexation.]     Oh,    do    hold   your 
tongue  I 


•  Good-bye,  Mrs.— Werle. 

[Goes  out  through  the  passage  door. 

[To    Mrs.  Sorby.]     You    seem    to   know    Dr. 
Relling  pretty  intimately. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Yes,  we  have  known  each  other  for  many  years. 
At  one  time   it  seemed  as   if  things  might  have 
gone  further  between  us. 

It  was  surely  lucky  for  you  that  they  did  not. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
You    may   well    say   that.       But  I    have   always 
been  wary  of  acting  on  impulse.      A  woman  can't 
afford  absolutely  to  throw  herself  away. 

Are  you  not  in  the  least  afraid  that   I  may  let 
my  father  know  about  this  old  friendship  ? 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Why,  of  course  I  have  told   him  all  about  it 

Indeed  ? 

Mrs.  Sorby. 

Your  father  knows  every  single  thing  lliat  can. 


ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  341 

with  any  truth,  be  said  about  me.  I  have  told 
him  all  ;  it  was  the  first  thing  I  did  when  I  saw 
what  was  in  his  mind. 


Then  you  have  been  franker  than  most  people, 
I  think. 

Mrs,  Sorby. 

I   have  always  been  frank.      We  women  find 
that  the  best  policy. 


What  do  you  say  to  that,  Gina  ? 


Oh,  we're  not  all  alike,  us  women  aren't.    Some 
are  made  one  way,  some  another. 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
Well,  for  my  part,  Gina,  I  believe  it's  wisest  to 
do  as  I've  done.  And  Werle  has  no  secrets  either, 
on  his  side.  That's  really  the  great  bond  between 
us,  you  see.  Now  he  can  talk  to  me  as  openl)  as 
a  child.  He  has  never  had  the  chance  to  do  chat, 
before.  Fancy  a  man  like  him,  full  of  health  and 
vigour,  passing  his  whole  youth  and  the  best  years 
of  his  life  in  listening  to  nothing  but  penitential 
sermons  !  And  very  often  the  sermons  had  for 
their  text  the  most  imaginary  offences — at  least 
so  I  understand. 


That's  true  enough. 

If  you  ladies  are  going  to  follow  up  this  topic, 
1  had  better  withdraw. 

342  THK     WILD     ULKK.  [aCT    IV. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
You  can  stay  so  far  as  that's  concerned.  I  shan't 
say  a  word  more.  But  I  wanted  you  to  know  that 
I  had  done  nothing  secretly  or  in  an  underhand 
way.  I  may  seem  to  have  come  in  for  a  great 
piece  of  luck  ;  and  so  I  have,  in  a  sense.  But 
after  all,  I  don't  think  I  am  getting  any  more  than 
I  am  giving.  I  shall  stand  by  him  always,  and  I 
can  tend  and  care  for  him  as  no  one  else  can,  now 
that  he  is  getting  helpless. 


Getting  helpless  ? 

[To  Mrs.  Sorby.]     Hush,  don't  speak  of  that 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
There  is  no  disguising  it  any  longer,  however 
much  he  would  like  to.     He  is  going  blind. 


[Starts.]      Going  blind .''     That's  strange.      He 
too  going  blind  ! 


Lots  of  people  do. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
And  you  can  imagine  what  that  means  to  a 
business  man.  Well,  I  shall  try  as  well  as  I  can 
to  make  my  eyes  take  the  place  of  his.  But  I 
musn't  stay  any  longer;  I  have  such  heaps  of 
things  to  do.- — Oh,  by-the-bye,  Ekdal,  I  was  to  tell 
you  that  if  there  is  anything  Werle  can  do  for 
you,  you  must  just  apply  to  Graberg. 

ACT    IV.]  TllK     WILD     DUCK.  34>3 

That  offer  I  am  sure  Hialmar  Ekdal  will  decline 
with  thanks. 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
Indeed  .''     I  don't  think  he  used  to  be  so 


No,  Bertha,  Ekdal  doesn't  need  anything  Iroui 
Mr.  Werle  now. 


[Slowly, and  with  emphasis.^  Will  you  present  my 
compliments  to  your  future  husband,  and  say  that 
I  intend  very  shortly  to  call  upon  Mr.  Graberg ■ 

What  !     You  don't  really  mean  that } 

To  call  upon  Mr.  Graberg,  I  say,  and  obtain  an 
account  of  the  sum  I  owe  his  principal.  I  will 
pay  that  debt  of  honour — ha  ha  ha  !  a  debt  of 
hoiiour,  let  us  call  it !  In  any  case,  I  will  pay  the 
whole,  with  five  per  cent,  interest. 

But,  iTfiy  dear  Ekdal^  God  knows  we  haven't  got 
the  money  to  do  it. 

Be  good  enough  to  tell  your  future  husband 
that  I  am  rt^orking  assiduously  at  my  invention. 
Please  tell  tnm  that  what  sustains  me  in  this 
laborious  task  is  the  wish  to  free  myself  from  a 
torturing  burden  of  debt.  That  is  my  reason  for 
[jroceeding  with  the  invezitiou.     The  entire  jirofits 

S-i*  THE    WILD     DUCK,  [aCT    IV. 

shall  be  devoted  to  releasing  me  from  my  pecuniary 
obligations  to  your  future  husband. 

Mrs.  Sorbv. 
Something  has  happened  here. 


Yes,  you  are  right. 

Mrs.  Sorby. 
Well,  good-bye.     I  had  something  else  to  speak 
to  you  about,  Gina  ;  but  it  must  keep  till  another 
time.     Good-bye. 

[Hialmar  and  Gregers  how  silently,  Gina 
follows  Mrs.  Sorby  to  the  door, 

Not  beyond  the  threshold,  Gina  ! 

[Mrs.  Sorby  goes;    Gina  simts  ike  door 
after  her. 


There  now,  Gregers  ;  I  have  got  that  burden  of 
debt  off  my  mind. 

You  soon  will,  at  all  events. 

I  think  my  attitude  may  be  called  correct. 

You  are  the  man  I  have  always  taken  you  for. 

In  certain  cases,  it  is  impossible  to  disregard 
the  claim  of  the  ideal.     Yet,  as  the  breadwinner 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  34^5 

of  a  family,  I  cannot  but  writhe  and  groan  under 
it.  I  can  tell  you  it  is  no  joke  for  a  man  without 
capital  to  attempt  the  repayment  of  a  long-standing 
obligation,  over  which,  so  to  speak,  the  dust  of 
oblivion  had  gathered.  But  it  cannot  be  helped  : 
the  Man  in  me  demands  his  rights. 

[Laying  his  hand  on  Hialmar's   shoulder.]     My 
dear  Hialmar — was  it  not  a  good  thing  I  came  .'' 



Are  you  not  glad  to  have  had  your  true  position- 
made  clear  to  you  } 

[Somewhat    impatient bi.]     Yes,    of  course  I  am. 
But   there  is  one  thing  that   is   revolting  to  my 
sense  of  justice. 

And  what  is  that  } 


'  It  is  that — but  I  don't  know  whether  I   ought 

to  express  myself  so  unreservedly  about  your  father. 

Say  whftt  you  please,  so  far  as  I  am  concerned. 

Well  then,  is  it  not  exasperating  to  think  that 
it  is   not   I,   but   he,   who   will    realise    the    true 
marriage  ? 


How  can  you  say  such  a  thing  .'' 

346  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


Because  it  is  clearly  the  case.  Isn't  the 
marriage  between  your  father  and  Mrs.  Sorby 
founded  upon  complete  confidence,  upon  entire 
and  unreserved  candour  on  both  sides  ?  They 
hide  nothing  from  each  other,  they  keep  no 
secrets  in  the  background  ;  their  relation  is  based, 
if  I  may  put  it  so,  on  mutual  confession  and  abso- 


Well,  what  then  ? 


Well,  is  not  that  the  whole  thing  ?  Did  you 
not  yourself  say  that  this  was  precisely  the 
difficulty  that  had  to  be  overcome  in  order  to 
found  a  true  marriage  ? 

But  this  is  a  totally  different  matter,  Hialmar. 
You  surely  don't  compare  either  yourself  or  your 

wife  with  those  two ?      Oh,  you  understand 

me  well  enough. 


Say  what  you  like,  there  is  something  in  all  this 
that  hurts  and  offends  my  sense  of  justice.  It 
really  looks  as  if  there  were  no  just  providence  to 
rule  the  world. 


Oh  no,  Ekdal ;  for  God's  sake  don't  say  such 

H'm  ;  don't  let  us  get  upon  those  questions. 

ACT    IV,]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  347 


And  yet,  after  all,  1  cannot  but  recognise  the 
guiding  finger  of  fate.     He  is  going  blind. 


Oh,  you  can't  be  sure  of  that. 


There  is  no  doubt  about  it.  At  all  events  there 
ought  not  to  be  ;  for  in  that  very  fact  lies  the 
righteous  retribution.  He  has  hoodwinked  a  con- 
fiding fellow  creature  in  days  gone  by 

I  fear  he  has  hoodwinked  many. 


And  now  comes  inexorable,  mysterious  Fate, 
and  demands  Werle's  own  eyes. 


Oh,  how  dare  you  say  such  dreadful  things  ! 
You  make  me  quite  scared. 


It  is  profitable,  now  and  then,  to  plunge  deep 
into  the  night  side  of  existence. 

Hedvig,  in  her  hat  and  cloak,  comes  in  bij  the 
passage  door.  She  is  pleasurably  excited,  and 
out  of  breath. 


Are  you  back  already  ? 

348  THE   WILD    DUCK.  [act  IV. 

Yes,  I  didn't  care  to  go  any  farther.     It  was  a 
good  thing,  too ;  for   I've  just  met  some  one  at 
the  door. 


It  must  have  been  that  Mrs.  Sorby. 



[Walks  up  and  donm.]     I  hope  you  have  seen  her 
for  the  last  time. 

[Silence.  Hedvig,  discouraged,  looks  first 
at  one  and  then  at  the  other,  trying  to 
divine  their  frame  of  mind. 


[Approaching,  coaxingly.^     Father. 


Well — what  is  it,  Hedvig  ? 

Mrs.  Sorby  had  something  with  her  for  me. 


[Stops.^     For  you  ? 

Yes.     Something  for  to  morrow. 


Bertha  has  always  given  you  some  little  thing 
on  your  birthday. 


What  is  it  } 

act  iv.]  the  wild  duck.  349 

Oh,  you  mustn't  see  it  now.     Mother  is  to  give 
it  to  me  to-morrow  morning  before  I'm  up. 


What  is  all  this  hocus-pocus  that  I  am  to  be 
kept  in  the  dark  about ! 

[Qtiickli/.]     Oh  no,  you  may  see  it  if  you  like. 
It's  a  big  letter. 

[Takes  the  letter  out  of  her  cloak  pocket. 


A  letter  too  ? 


Yes,  it  is  only  a  letter.  The  rest  will  come 
afterwards,  I  suppose.  But  fancy — a  letter  !  I've 
never  had  a  letter  before.  And  there's  "  Miss  " 
written  upon  it.  [Reads.]  "  Miss  Hedvig  Ekdal." 
Only  fancy — that's  me  ! 


Let  me  see  that  letter. 

[Hands  it  to  him.]     There  it  is. 


That  is  Mr.  Werle's  hand. 


Are  you  sure  of  that,  Ekdal  ? 


Look  for  yourself. 

350  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


Oh,  what  do  /  know  about  such-like  things  .'' 


Hedvig,  may  I  open  the  letter — and  read  it  ? 

Yes,  of  course  you  may,  if  you  want  to. 


No,  not  to-night,  Ekdal ;  it's  to  be  kept  till  to- 


/.]  Oh,  can't  you  let  him  read  it !  It's 
sure  to  be  something  good  ;  and  then  father  will 
be  glad,  and  everything  will  be  nice  again. 


I  may  open  it  then  ? 

Yes  do,  father.  I'm  so  anxious  to  know  what  it  is. 


Well  and  good.  [Opens  the  tetter,  takes  out  a 
paper,  reads  it  through,  and  appears  bewildered.] 
What  is  this ! 


What  does  it  say  ? 

Oh  yes,  father — tell  us  I 


Be  quiet.     [Heads  it  through  again  ;  he  has  turned 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  351 

pale,  bid  says  with  self-control .]    It  is  a  deed  of  gift, 


Is  it  .^     What  sort  of  gift  am  I  to  have  } 


Read  for  yourself. 

[Hedvig  goes  over  and  reads  for  a  time  by 
the  lamp. 

HiALMAR.   • 

yHalf-aloud,  clenching  his  hands  ]  The  eyes  !  The 
eyes — and  then  that  letter  ! 

[Leaves  off  reading.]     Yes,  but  it  seems  to  me 
that  it's  grandfather  that's  to  have  it. 


[Takes  the  letter  from  her.]  Gina — can  you 
understand  this  } 


I  know  nothing  whatever  about  it ;  tell  me 
what's  the  matter. 


Mr.  Werle  writes  to  Hedvig  that  her  old  grand- 
father need  not  trouble  himself  any  longer  with 
the  copving,  but  that  he  can  henceforth  draw  on 
the  office  for  a  hundred  crowns  a  month 


A  hundred  crowns,  mother  !     I  read  that. 

^52  THL     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    IT. 


What  a  f^ood  thing  for  grandfather  ! 


-a  hundred  crowns   a  month  so  long  as  he 

heeds  it — that  meansj  of  course,  so  long  as  he  lives. 


Well,  so  he's  provided  for,  poor  dear, 


But  there  is  more  to  come.  You  didn't  read 
that,  Hedvig.  Afterwards  this  gift  is  to  pass  on 
to  you. 


To  me  !     The  whole  of  it .'' 


He  saj's  that  the  same  amount  is  assured  to  you 
for  the  whole  of  your  life.  Do  you  hear  that, 
Gina  ? 


Yes,  I  hear. 

Fancy — all  that  money  for  me  !     [Sfiakes  hwi.l^ 
Father,  father,  aren't  you  glad .'' 


[Eluding  her.]  Glad!  [JValh  about.]  Oh  what 
vistas — what  perspectives  open  up  before  me  !  It 
is  Hedvig,  Hedvig  that  he  showers  these  bene- 
factions upon  ! 


Yes,  because  it's  Hedvig's  birthday 

act  iv.]  the  wild  duck.  353 

And  you'll  get  it  all  the  same,  father  !     You 
know  quite  well  I  shall  give  all  the  money  to  you 
and  mother. 


To  mother^  yes  !     There  we  have  it. 

Hialmar,  this  is  a  trap  he  is  setting  for  you. 


Do  you  think  it's  another  trap  ? 

When   he   was    here    this    morning  he   said : 
Hialmar  Ekdal  is  not  the  man  you  imagine  him 
to  be. 

Not  the  man ! 

That  you  shall  see,  he  said, 

He  meant  you  should  see  that  I  would  let  my- 
self be  bought  off ! 

Oh  mother,  what  does  all  this  mean  ? 


Go  and  take  off  your  things. 

[H  EDViG  goes  out  by  the  kitchen  door,  half- 

354  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 

Yes,  Hialmar — now  is  the  time  to  show  who 
was  right,  he  or  I. 


[5/ow'///  tears  the  paper  across,  laijs  both  pieces  on 
the  table,  and  says  ;]     Here  is  my  answer. 

Just  what  I  expected. 


[Goes  over  to  Gina,  who  stands  by  the  stove,  and 
says  m  a  low  voice  ;]  Now  please  make  a  clean 
breast  of  it.  If  the  connection  between  you  and  him 
was  quite  over  when  you — came  to  care  for  me, 
as  you  call  it — why  did  he  place  us  in  a  position 
to  marry  } 


I  suppose  he  thought  as  he  could  come  and  go 
in  our  house. 


Only  that.^  Was  not  he  afraid  of  a  possible 
contingency  } 

I  don't  know  what  you  mean. 

I  want  to  know  whether — your  child  has  the 
right  to  live  under  my  roof. 

[Draws  herself  up;    her  eyes  Jl  ash.]     You   ask 
that ! 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  355 


You  shall  answer  me  this  one  qi'estion  :     Does 
Hedvig  belong  to  me — or ?     Well ! 


[Looki?ig  at  him  with  cold  de/iance.]     I  don't  know, 


[Quivemig  a  little.]    You  don't  know  ! 


How  should  /  know  ?     A  creature  like  me 


[Quietlt/  turning  away  from  her.]  Then  I  have 
nothing  more  to  do  in  this  house. 

Take    care,    Hialmar !       Think  what  you    are 
doing  ! 


[Puts  on  his  overcoat.]  In  this  case,  there  is 
nothing  for  a  man  like  me  to  think  twice  about. 

Yes  indeed,  there  are  endless  things  to  be  con- 
sidered.    You  three  must  be  together  if  you  are 
to  attain  the  true  frame  of  mind  for  self-sacrifice 
and  forgiveness. 


I  don't  want  to  attain  it.  Never,  never  !  My 
hat !  [Takes  his  hat.]  My  home  has  fallen  in 
ruins  about  me.  [Bursts  into  tears.]  Gregers,  I 
have  no  child  ! 

356  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 

[  Who  has  opened  /he  kitchen  door.]     What  is  that 
you're  saying  ?     [Coming  to  /«Vw.]     Father,  father  ! 


There,  you  see  ! 


Don't  come  near  me,  Hedvig  !     Keep  far  away. 

I  cannot  bear  to  see  you.     Oh  !  those  eyes ! 

Good-bye.  [Makes  for  the  door. 

[Clinging  close  to  him  and  screaming  loudly J\     No  ! 
no  !     Don't  leave  me  ! 


[Cries  out.']     Look  at  the  child,  Ekdal !     Look 
at  the  child  ! 


I  will  not  I     I  cannot !     I  must  get  out — away 
from  all  this  ! 

[He  tears  himself  away  from  Hedvig,  and 
goes  out  hy  the  passage  door. 

[With  despairing  eyes.]     He  is  going  away  from 
us,  mother  !     He  is  going  away  from  us  !     He  will 
never  come  back  again  ! 


Don't  cry,  Hedvig.     Father's  sure  to  come  back 


[  ThroTvs  herself  sobbing  on  the  sofa.  ]    No,  no,  he'll 
never  come  home  to  us  any  more. 

act  iv. j  the  wild  duck.  357 

Do  you  believe  I  meant  all  for  the  best,  Mrs. 
Ekdal  ? 


Yes,  I  daresay  you  did  ;  but  God  forgive  you, 
all  the  same. 


[Lying  on  the  sofa^  Oh,  this  will  kill  me  !  What 
have  I  done  to  him  .>  Mother,  you  must  fetch  him 
home  again ! 


Yes  yes  yes  ;  only  be  quiet,  and  I'll  go  out  and 
look  for  him.  [Puts  on  her  outdoor  things.^  Perhaps 
he's  gone  in  to  Relling's.  But  you  mustn't  lie 
there  and  cry.     Promise  me  ! 

[Weeping convulsively.^     Yes,  I'll  stop,  I'll  stop ; 
if  only  father  comes  back  ! 

[To  GiNA,  who  is  going.']     After  all,  had  you  not 
better  leave  him  to  fight  out  his  bitter  fight  to 
the  end  } 


Oh,  he  can  do  that  afterwards.  First  of  all,  we 
must  get  the  child  quieted. 

[Goes  out  hy  the  passage  door. 

[Sits  up    and    dries  her  tears.]     Now  you  must 
tell  me  what  all  this  means.     Why  doesn't  father 
want  me  any  more  ? 

358  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 

You  mustn't  ask  that  till  you  are  a  big  girl — 
quite  grown-up. 

[iSbfe,?.]     But  I  can't  go  on  being  as   miserable 
as  this  till   I'm  grown  up. — I  think  I  know  what 
it  is. — Perhaps  I'm  not  really  father's  child. 

[Uneasily.]     How  could  that  be  .-* 

Mother  might  have  found   me.     And  perhaps 
father  has  just  got  to  know  it;  I've  read  of  such 

Well,  but  if  it  were  so 

I  think  he  might  be  just  as  fond  of  me  for  all 
that.     Yes,  fonder  almost.     We  got  the  wild  duck 
in  a  present,  you   know,  and  I   love   it  so  dearly 
all  the  same. 

[Tunii/ig  the  conversation.]     Ah,  the  wild  duck, 
by-the-bye  !     Let  us  talk  about  the  wild  duck  a 
little,  Hedvig. 

The  poor  wild  duck  !     He  doesn't  want  to  see 
it  any  more   either.     Only  think,   he  wanted  to 
wring  its  neck  ! 

Oh,  he  won't  do  that. 


act  iv.]  the  wild  duck.  359 

No ;    but  he  said  he  would  like  to.     And    I 
think  it  was  horrid  of  father  to  say  it ;  for  I  pray 
for  the  wild  duck  every  night,  and  ask  that  it  may 
be  preserved  from  death  and  all  that  is  evil. 

[Looki?ig  at  her.]     Do  you  say  your  prayers  every 
night .'' 


Who  taught  you  to  do  that .? 

I  myself ;  one  time  when  father  was  very  ill, 
and  had  leeches  on  his  neck,  and  said  that  death 
was  staring  him  in  the  face, 

Well  ? 

Then  I  prayed  for  him  as  I  lay  in  bed ;  and  since 
then  I  have  always  kept  it  up. 

And  now  you  pray  for  the  wild  duck  too  ? 

I  thought  it  was  best  to  bring  in  the  wild  duck ; 
for  she  was  so  weakly  at  first. 

Do  you  pray  in  the  morning,  too  ? 

360  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 

No,  of  course  not. 

Why  not  in  the  morning  as  well  ? 

In  the  morning  it's  light,  you  know,  and  there's 
nothing  in  particular  to  be  afraid  of. 

And  your  father  was  going  .o  wring  the  neck 
of  the  wild  duck  that  you  love  so  dearly  ? 

No  ;  he  said  he  ought  to  wring  its  neck,  but  he 
would  spare  it  for  my  sake ;  and  that  was  kind  of 


[Coming  a  little  nearer.]  But  suppose  you  were 
to  sacrifice  the  wild  duck  of  your  own  free  will 
for  his  sake. 


[Rising.]     The  wild  duck  ! 

Suppose  you  were  to  make  a  free-will  offering, 
for  his  sake,  of  the  dearest  treasure  you   have  in 
the  world  ! 


Do  you  think  that  would  do  any  good  ? 

Try  it,  Hedvig. 

[Softhj,  with  flashing  eyes]     Yes,  I  will  try  it. 

ACT    IV.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  36l 

Have  you   really   the  courage  for  it,  do   you 
think  ? 


I'll  ask  grandfather  to  shoot  the  wild  duck  for 


Yes,  do.     But  not  a  word  to  your  mother  about 

Why  not  ? 


She  doesn't  understand  us. 

The  wild  duck  !     I'll  try  it  to-morrow  morning  . 
[GiNA  comes  in  by  the  passage  door. 

[Going  towards  her.]     Did  you  find  him,  mother  ? 


No,  but  I  heard  as  he   had  called  and  taken 
Relling  with  him. 

Are  you  sure  of  that  ? 


Yes,   the  porter's   wife  said    so,     Molvik  went 
with  them  too,  she  said. 

This  evening,  when  his  mind  so  sorely  needs  to 
wrestle  in  solitude ! 

362  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    IV. 


\Takes  off  her  things.^  Yes,  men  are  strange 
creatures,  so  they  are.  The  Lord  only  knows 
where  Relling  has  dragged  him  to  !  I  ran  over 
to  Madam  Eriksen's,  but  they  weren't  there. 

[Struggling  to  keep  back  her  tears.^     Oh,  if  he 
should  never  come  home  any  more  ! 

He  will  come  home  again.     I  shall  have  news 
to  give  him  to-morrow ;  and   then  you  shall  see 
how   he  conies  home.     You  may  rely  upon  that, 
Hedvig,  and  sleep  in  peace.     Good-night. 

[He  goes  out  by  the  passage  door. 

[Throws  herself  subbing  on  Gina's  neck.^  Mother, 
mother  .' 


[Pats  her  shoii/der  and  sighs.^  Ah  yes;  Relling 
was  right,  he  was.  That's  what  comes  of  it  w'hen 
crazy  creatures  go  about  presenting  the  claims  of 
the — what-you-may-call-it. 


HiALMAR  Ekdal's  xtudio.  Culcl,  gfci/,  moming  light. 
IVet  snow  lies  tipun  ihe  large  panes  of  the  sloping 
Gina  comes  from  the  kitchen  with  an  apron  and  bib 
on,  find  carrying  a  dusting-brush  and  a  duster;  she 
goes  towards  the  sitting-room  door.  At  the  same 
moment  Hedvig  comes  hurriedly  in  from  the 

[Stops.]     Well  ? 

Oh,    mother,    I    almost    think    he's    down    at 

There,  you  see  ! 



because   the   porter's  wife  says  she  could 

hear  that  Relling  had  two  people  with  him  when 
he  came  home  last  night. 

That's  just  what  I  thought. 

But  it's  no  use  his  being  there,  if  he  won't  come 
up  to  us. 

I'll  go  down  and  speak  to  him  at  all  events. 

3()^  lllE    WILD    DUCK.  [act    V. 

Old  Ekdal,  in  dresabig  gotvii  and  slippers,  andivitha 
liglded  pipe,  appears  at  the  door  of  Ids  room. 

Hialmar Isn't  Hialmar  at  home  ? 


No,  he's  gone  out. 

So  early  ?     And  in  such  a  tearing  snowstorm  ? 
Well  well;   just  as  he    pleases;  I   can   take  my 
morning  walk  alone. 

\^He  slides  the  garret  door  aside  ;  Hedvig 
helps  him  ;  he  goes  in  ;  she  closes  it  after 

[In  an  undertone.]     Only  think,   mother,  when 
poor  grandfather   hears  that  father   is  going   to 
leave  us. 


Oh,  nonsense;  grandfather  mustn't  hear  any- 
thing about  it.  It  was  a  heaven's  mercy  he  wasn't 
at  home  yesterday  in  all  that  hurly-burly. 

Yes,  but 

[Gregers  comes  in  by  the  passage  door 

Well,  have  you  any  news  of  him  .-* 

They  say  he's  down  at  Relling's. 

At    Relling's !     Has    he   really  been  out  with 
those  creatures  } 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  365 


Yes,  like  enough. 

When   he    ought    to   have    been   yearning  for 
soUtude,  to  collect  and  clear  his  thoughts 


Yes,  you  may  well  say  so. 

Relling  enters  from  the  passage. 
[Going  to  him.']     Is  father  in  your  room  } 


[At  the  same  time."]     Is  he  there  ? 

Yes,  to  be  sure  he  is. 

And  you  never  let  us  know  ! 

Yes;  I'm   a   brute.     But   in  the  first  place   I 
had  to  look  after  the   other  brute  ;   I  mean  our 
daemonic  friend,  of   course;    and  then   I   fell  so 
dead  asleep  that 


What  does  Ekdal  say  to-day  ? 

He  says  nothing  whatever. 

Doesn't  he  speak  ? 

Not  a  blessed  word. 

S66  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [acT    V, 

No  no ;  I  can  understand  that  very  well. 


But  what's  he  doing  then  .'' 

He's  lying  on  the  sofa,  snoring. 


Oh  is  he  ?     Yes,  Ekdal's  a  rare  one  to  snore. 

Asleep  .''     Can  he  sleep .'' 

Well,  it  certainly  looks  like  it. 

No  wonder,  after  the  spiritual  conflict  that  has 
rent  him 


And  then  he's  never  been  used  to  gadding  about 
out  of  doors  at  night. 

Perhaps  it's  a  good  thing  that  he's  getting 
sleep,  mother. 


Of  course  it  is  ;  and  we  must  take  care  we  don't 
wake  him  up  too  early.  Thank  you,  Relling.  I 
must  get  the  house  cleaned   up  a  bit  now,  and 

then Come  and  help  me,  Hedvig. 

[GiNA  and  Hedvig  ^0  into  the  sitting-room 

[Tiirni7ig  to  Relling.]     What  is  your  explana- 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  SGl 

tion  of  the  spiritual  tumult  that  is  now  going  on  in 
Hialmar  Ekdal  ? 


Devil  a  bit  of  a  spiritual  tumult  have  /  noticed 
in  him. 


What !     Not  at  such  a  crisis,  when  his  whole 

life  has  been   placed  on  a  new  foundation ? 

How  can  you  think  that  such  an  individuality  as 

Hial  mar's ? 


Oh,  individuality — he  !  If  he  ever  had  any 
tendency  to  the  abnormal  developments  you  call 
individuality,  I  can  assure  you  it  was  rooted  out  of 
him  while  he  was  still  in  his  teens. 

That  would  be   strange    indeed, — considering 
the  loving  care  with  which  he  was  brought  up. 

By   those  two    high-flown,   hysterical   maiden 
aunts,  you  mean  .'' 

Let  me  tell  you  that    they  were  women  who 
never  forgot  the  claim  of  the  ideal — but  of  course 
you  will  only  jeer  at  me  again. 

No,  I'm  in  no  humour  for  that.  I  know  all 
about  those  ladies ;  for  he  has  ladled  out  no  end 
of  rhetoric  on  the  subject  of  his  "  two  soul- 
mothers."  But  I  don't  think  he  has  much  to 
thank  them  for.     Ekdal's  misfortune  is  that  in  his 

3f)8  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 

own  circle  he  has  always   been  looked  uj)on  as  a 

shining  light 

Not  without  reason,  surely.     Look  at  the  depth 
of  his  mind  ! 

/  have  never  discovered   it      That  his  father 
believed  in  it  I  don't  so  much  wonder ;  the  old 
lieutenant  has  been  an  ass  all  his  days. 

He  has  had  a  child-like  mind  all  his  days  ;  that 
is  what  you  cannot  understand. 

Well,  so  be  it.  But  then,  when  our  dear,  sweet 
Hialmar  went  to  college,  he  at  once  passed  for  the 
great  light  of  the  future  amongst  his  comrades 
too  !  He  was  handsome,  the  rascal — red  and  white 
— a  shop-girl's  dream  of  manly  beauty;  and  with 
his  superficially  emotional  temperament,  and  his 
sympathetic  voice,  and  his  talent  for  declaim- 
ing other  people's  verses  and  other  people's 


{Indignantly.!^      Is    it   Hialmar   Ekdal    you    are 
talking  about  in  this  strain  } 

Yes,  with  your  permission  ;  I  am  simply  giving 
you  an  inside  view  of  the  idol  you  are  grovelling 


I  should  hardly  have  thought  I  was  quite  stone 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK. 

Yes  you  are — or  not  far  from  it.     You  are  a  sick 
man,  too,  you  see. 

You  are  right  there. 

Yes.  Yours  is  a  complicated  case.  First  of  all 
there  is  that  plaguy  integrity-fever ;  and  then 
— what's  worse — you  are  always  in  a  delirium  of 
hero-worship  ;  you  must  always  have  something  to 
adore,  outside  yourself. 

Yes,  I  must  certainly  seek  it  outside  myself. 

But  you  make  such  shocking  mistakes  about 
evei'y  new  phoenix  you  think  you  have  discovered. 
Here  again  you  have  come  to  a  cotter's  cabin  with 
your  claim  of  the  ideal ;  and  the  people  of  the 
house  are  insolvent. 

If  you  don't  think  better  than  that  of  Hialmar 
Ekdal,  what  pleasure  can  you  find  in  being  ever- 
lastingly with  him  ? 

Well,  you    see,  I'm   supposed  to  be  a  sort   of 
a  doctor — save  the  mark !     I  can't  but  give  a  hand 
to  the  poor  sick  folk  who  live  under  the  same 
roof  with  me. 

Oh,    indeed  !       Hialmar    Ekdal     is    sick    too, 
is  he  ! 

370  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 

Most  people  are,  worse  luck. 

And  what  remedy  are  you  applying  in  Hialmar's 
case  ? 


My  usual  one.   I  am  cultivating  the  life-illusion  ^ 
in  him. 

Life — illusion  .^     I  didn't  catch  what  you  said. 

Yes,  I  said  illusion.     For  illusion,  you  know,  is 
the  stimulating  principle. 

May  I  ask  with  what  illusion  Hialmar  is  inocu- 
lated ? 

No,  thank  you ;  I  don't  betray  professional 
secrets  to  quacksalvers.  You  would  probably  go 
and  muddle  his  case  still  more  than  you  have 
already.  But  my  method  is  infallible.  I  have 
applied  it  to  Molvik  as  well.  I  have  made  him 
"daemonic."  That's  the  blister  I  have  to  put  on 
his  neck. 

Is  he  not  really  daemonic  then  .'' 

What  the  devil  do  you  mean  by  daemonic  !     It's 
only  a  piece  of  gibberish  I've  invented  to  keep  up 
a  spark  of  life  in    him.     Hut   for  that,  the   poor 

'  "Livslognen,"  literally  "the  life-lie." 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  371 

harmless  creature  would  have  succumbed  to  self- 
contempt  and  despair  many  a  long  year  ago.  And 
then  the  old  lieutenant !  But  he  has  hit  upon  his 
own  cure,  you  see. 


Lieutenant  Ekdal  ?     What  of  him  } 

.iust  think  of  the  old  beai'-hunter  shutting  him- 
self up  in  that  dark  garret  to  shoot  rabbits  !  I  tell 
you  there  is  not  a  happier  sportsman  in  the  world 
than  that  old  man  pottering  about  in  there 
among  all  that  rubbish.  The  four  or  five  withered 
Christmas-ti-ees  he  has  saved  up  are  the  same  to 
him  as  the  whole  great  fresh  Hoidal  forest ;  the 
cock  and  the  hens  are  big  game-birds  in  the  fir- 
tops  ;  and  the  rabbits  that  flop  about  the  garret 
floor  are  the  bears  he  has  to  battle  with — the 
mighty  hunter  of  the  mountains  ! 

Poor  unfortunate  old  man  !     Yes ;   he  has  in- 
deed had  to  narrow  the  ideals  of  his  youth. 

While  I  think  of  it,  Mr.  Werle,  junior — don't 
use   that   foreign  word :    ideals.      We   have    the 
excellent  native  word  :  lies. 

Do  you  think  the  two  things  are  related  ? 


Yes,  just  about  as  closely  as  typhus  and  putrid 

372  THE   \vn.n   duck.  [act  v. 

Dr.   Relling,  I   shall   not  give  up   the  struggle 
until  I  have  rescued  Hialmar  from  your  clutches  I 

So  much  the  worse  for  him.  Rob  the  average 
man  of  his  life-illusion,  and  you  rob  him  of  his 
hapj)iness  at  the  same  stroke.  [To  Hedvig,  jvko 
Coynes  in  from  the  sil  ling-room.]  Well,  little  wild- 
duck  mother,  I'm  just  going  down  to  see  whether 
papa  is  still  lying  meditating  U]nm  that  wonderful 
invention  of  his.  [Goes  out  by  the  passage  door. 

^Approaches  Hedvig.]      I  can  see  by  your  face 
that  you  have  not  yet  done  it. 

What }     Oh,  that  about  the  wild  duck!     No. 

I  suppose  your  courage  failed  when  the  time 

No,  that   wasn't  it.      But  when    I  awoke  this 
morning    and    remembered   what   we    had    been 
talking  about,  it  seemed  so  strange. 

Strange  } 


Yes,  I  don't  know .     Yesterday  evening,  at 

the  moment,  I  thought  there  was  something  so 
delightful  about  it ;  but  since  I  have  sk-pt  and 
thought  of  it  again,  it  somehow  doesn't  seem 
worth  while. 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  373 

Ah,  I   thought  yoii   could  not  have  grown  up 
quite  unharmed  in  this  house. 

I  don't  care  about  that,  if  only  father  would 

come  up 

Oh,  if  only  your  eyes  had  been  opened  to  that 
which  gives  life  its  value — if  you  possessed  the 
true,  joyous,  fearless  spirit  of  sacrifice,  you  would 
soon  see  how  he  would  come  up  to  you. — But  I 
believe  in  you  still,  Hedvig. 

[He  goes  out  by  the  passage  door. 
[Hedvig  wanders  about  the  room  for  a 
time ;  she  is  on  the  point  of  going  into 
the  kitchen  when  a  knock  is  heard  at  the 
garret  door.  Hedvig  goes  over  and 
opens  it  a  little ;  old  Ekdal  comes  out ; 
she  pushes  the  door  to  again. 

H'm,  it's  not  much  fun  to  take  one's  morning 
walk  alone. 

Wouldn't  you  like  to  go  shooting,  grandfather  ? 

It's  not  the  weather  for  it  to-day.     It's  so  dark 
there,  you  can  scarcely  see  where  you're  going. 

Do  you  never  want  to  shoot  anything  besides 
the  rabbits  ? 

Do  you  think  the  rabbits  aren't  good  enough  ? 

374  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT   V. 

Yes,  but  what  about  the  wild  cluck  ? 

Ho-ho  !  are  you  afraid  I  shall  shoot  your  wild 
duck  ?     Never  in  the  world.     Never, 

No,  I  suppose  you  couldn't ;  they  say  it's  very 
difficult  to  shoot  wild  ducks. 

Couldn't  !     Should  rather  think  I  could. 

How  would  you  set  about  it,  grandfather  i* — I 
don't  mean  with  my  wild  duck,  but  with  others  ? 

I  should  take  care  to  shoot  them  in  the  breast, 
you  know  ;  that's  the  surest   place.      And  then 
you  must  shoot  against  the  feathers,  you  see — not 
the  way  of  the  feathers. 

Do  they  die  then,  grandfather  ? 

Yes,  they  die  right  enough — when  you  shoot 
properly.     Well,  I  must  go  and  brush  up  a  bit. 
H'm — understand — h'm.  [Goes  into  his  room. 

[Hedvig  waits  a  little,  glances  towards  the 
sitting-room  door,  goes  over  to  the  book- 
case, stands  on  tip-toe,  takes  the  double- 
barrelled  pistol  down  from,  the  shelf,  and 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK,  375 

looks  at  it.  GiKAftvitk  brush  and  duster, 
comes  from  the  sitting- toom.  Hedvig 
hastili/  lays  down  the  pistol,  unobserved. 


Don't  stand  raking  amongst  father's  things, 


[Goes  away  from  the  bookcase.^  I  was  only  going 
to  tidy  up  a  little, 


You'd  better  go  into  the  kitchen,  and  see  if 
the  coffee's  keeping  hot;  I'll  take  his  breakfast 
on  a  tray,  when  I  go  down  to  him. 

[Hedvig  goes  oid.  Gina  begins  to  sweep 
and  clean  up  the  studio.  Presently  the 
passage  door  is  opened  with  hesitation, 
and  Hialmar  Ekdal  looks  in.  He  has 
on  his  overcoat,  bid  not  his  hat  ;  he  is 
unwashed,  and  his  hair  is  dishevelled  and 
unkempt.     His  eyes  are  dull  and  heavy. 


[Standing  with  the  brtcsh  in  her  hand,  and  looking 
at  him.]  Oh,  there  now,  Ekdal — so  you've  come 
after  all  ? 


[Comes  in  and  answers  in  a  toneless  voice.]  I  come 
— only  to  depart  again  immediately. 

Yes,  yes,  I  suppose  so.    But,  Lord  help  us  I  what 
a  sight  you  are  ! 


A  sight  ? 

376  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 


And  your  nice  winter  coat  too !     Well,  that's 
done  for. 


[At     the     kitchen    door.]       Mother,     hadn't     I 

better ?     [Sees  Hialmar,  gives   a  loud  scream 

(j/'  joy,  and  runs  to  hi7n.]     Oh,  father,  father  I 

[Turns  away  and  makes  a  gesture  oj  repulsion.] 
Away,  away,  away  !     [To  Gina.]     Keep  her  away 
from  me,  I  say  I 

[In   a   low  tone.]      Go   into   the   sitting-room, 
Hedvig.  [Hedvig  does  so  without  a  word. 

[Fussily  pulls  out  the  table-drawer.]     I  must  have 
my  books  with  me.     Where  are  my  books  ? 

Which  books  ? 

My  scientific  books,  of  course;   the  technical 
magazines  I  require  for  my  invention. 

[Searches  in  the  bookcase.]    Is  it  these  here  paper- 
covered  ones  ? 

Yes,  of  course, 

[Lays  a  heap  of  magazines  on  the  table.]     Shan't 
I  get  Hedvig  to  cut  them  for  you  .'' 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  377 


I  don't  require  to  have  them  cut  for  me. 

[Short  silence. 


Then  you're  still  set  on  leaving  us,  Ekdal  ? 


[Rummaging  amongst  the  hooks.^  Yes,  that  is  a 
matter  of  course,  I  should  think. 


Well,  well. 


[Vehemently.^  How  can  I  live  here,  to  be 
stabbed  to  the  heart  every  hour  of  the  day  } 


God  forgive  you  for  thinking  such  vile  things 
of  me. 


Prove ! 


I  think  it's  you  as  has  got  to  prove. 


After  a  past  like  yours .''  There  are  certain 
claims — I  may  almost  call  them  claims  of  the 


But  what  about  grandfather  }  What's  to  become 
of  him,  poor  dear  .'' 


I  know  my  duty  ;  my  helpless  father  will  come 
with  me.     I  am  going  out  into  the  town  to  make 

;}7S  THE     WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 

arrangements ,       H'm—[fiesitating/ij]  has  any 

one  found  my  hat  on  the  stairs  ? 


No.     Have  you  lost  your  hat  ? 


Of  course  I  had  it  on  when  I  came  in  last 
night ;  there's  no  doubt  about  that ;  but  1  couldn't 
find  it  this  morning. 


Lord  help  us!  where  have  you  been  to  with 
those  two  ne'er-do-weels  .'' 


Oh,  don't  bother  me  about  trifles.  Do  you 
suppose  I  am  in  the  mood  to  remember  details  ? 


If  only  you  haven't  caught  cold,  Ekdal 

[^Goes  out  into  Ihe  kitchen. 


[Talks  to  him  self  in  a  low  tone  of  irritation ,  whilst 
he  empties  the  table-drawer.]  You're  a  scoundrel, 
Helling  ! — You're  a  low  fellow  !— Ah,  you  shame- 
less tempter  ! — I  wish  I  could  get  some  one  to 
stick  a  knife  into  you  ! 

[He  lays  some  old  letters  on  one  side,  finds 
the  torn  document  of  yesterday,  takes  it 
up  and  looks  at  the  pieces  ;  pids  it  down 
huniedly  as  Gina  enters. 


[Sets  a  tray  with  coffee,  etc.,  on  the  table.]     Here's 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  379 

a  drop  of  something  hot,  if  you'd  fancy  it.  And 
there's  some  bread  and  butter  and  a  snack  of  salt 


[Glancitig  at  the  tray.]  Salt  meat  ?  Never  under 
this  roof!  It's  true  I  have  not  had  a  mouthful  of 
solid  food  for  nearly  twenty-four  hours  ;  but  no 
matter. — My  memoranda  !  The  commencement 
of  my  autobiography  !  What  has  become  of  my 
diary,  and  all  my  important  papers  r  [Ope?is  ike 
sitting-room  door  but  draws  hack.]    She  is  there  too ! 


Good  Lord!  the  child  must  be  somewhere  ! 


Come  out. 

\He   makes   room,   Hedvig  comes,  scared, 
i?ito  the  studio. 


[With  his  hand  tipon  the  door- handle,  says  to 
GiNA  :]  In  these^  the  last  moments  I  spend  in 
my  former  home,  I  wish  lo  be  spared  from  inter- 
lopers   [Goes  into  the  room. 

[With  a  hound   towards  her   mother,   asks  softly, 
tremhling.]     Does  that  mean  me  } 


Sta)'  out  in  the  kitchen,  Hedvig  ;  or,  no — you'd 
best  go  into  your  own  room.  [Speaks  to  Hialmar 
as  she  goes  in  to  him.]  Wait  a  bit,  Ekd^d  ;  don't 
rummage  so  in  the  drawers  ;  /  know  where  every- 
thinij  is. 

3S0  THE    WILU     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 


[Stands  a  moment  immovahlc,  in  terror  and  per- 
pk'diti/,  biting  her  lips  to  keep  hack  the  tears  ;  then 
she  clenches  her  hands  convulsively,  and  says  softly  ;] 
The  wild  duck  . 

[She  steals  over  and  takes  the  pistol  from 

the  shelf , opens  the  garret  door  a  little  nrty, 

creeps  in,  and  draivs  the  door  to  after  her, 

[HiALMAR  and  Gina  can  be  heard  disputing 

in  the  sitting-room. 


[Comes  in  with  some  manuscript  books  and  old  loose 
papers,  which  he  lays  upo7i  the  table.]  That  port- 
manteau is  of  no  use  !  There  are  a  thousand  and 
one  things  I  must  drag  with  me. 


[Following  with  the  portmanteau.]  Why  not  leave 
all  the  rest  for  the  present,  and  only  take  a  shirt 
and  a  pair  of  woollen  drawers  with  you  .'' 


Whew  ! — all  these  exhausting  preparations I 

[Pulls  off  his  overcoat  and  throws  it  upon 
the  sofa. 


And  there's  the  coffee  getting  cold. 


[Drinks  a  mouthful  without  thinking  oj  it, 
mid  then  another. 


[Dusting  the  backs  of  the  chairs.]     A   nice  job 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  381 

you'll  have  to  find  such  another  big  garret  for  the 


What !  Am  I  to  drag  all  those  rabbits  with  me 


Ycu  don't  suppose  grandfather  can  get  on  with- 
out his  rabbits. 


He  must  just  get  used  to  doing  without  them. 
Have  not  /  to  sacrifice  very  much  greater  things 
than  rabbits  ! 


\^Dustmg  the  bookcase.]  Shall  I  put  the  flute  in 
the  portmanteau  for  you  ? 


No.     No  flute  for  me.     But  give  me  the  pistol  ! 


Do  you  want  to  take  the  pigstol  with  you  .'' 


Yes.     My  loaded  pistol. 


[Searching  for  il.'\  It's  gone.  He  must  have  taken 
it  in  with  him. 


Is  he  in  the  garret  } 


Yes,  of  course  he's  in  the  garret. 

382  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 


H'm — poor  lonely  old  man. 

[//e  takes  a  piece  of  bread  and  butter,  eat.s 
it,  andjinishes  his  cup  of  coffee. 


If  we  hadn't  have  let  that  room,  you  could 
have  moved  in  there. 


And  continued  to  live  under  the  same  roof 
with !     Never, — never  I 


But  couldn't  you  put  up  with  the  sitting-room 
for  a  day  or  two  .''  You  could  have  it  all  to  your- 


Never  within  these  walls ! 


Well  then,  down  with  Relling  and  Molvik, 


Don't  mention  those  wretches'  names  to  me  .' 
The  very  thought  of  them  almost  takes  away  my 
appetite. — Oh  no,  I  must  go  out  into  the  storm 
and  the  snow-drift, — go  from  house  to  house  and 
seek  shelter  for  my  father  and  myself 


But  you've  got  no  hat,  Ekdal !  You've  been 
and  lost  your  hat,  you  know. 


Oh  those  two  brutes,  those  slaves  of  all  the 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  383 

vices  !  A  hat  must  be  procured.  [Takes  another 
piece  of  bread  and  butter.^  Some  arrangement  must 
be  made.  For  I  have  no  mind  to  throw  away  my 
life,  either.  [Looks  for  something  on  the  tray. 


What  are  you  looking  for  } 




I'll  get  some  at  once.      [Goes  oid  into  the  kitchen. 


[Calls  after  her.]  Oh  it  doesn't  matter;  dry 
bread  is  good  enough  for  me. 


[Brings  a  dish  of  btdter.]  Look  here  ;  this  is  fresh 

[She  pours  out  another  cup  of  coffee  for 
him  ;  he  seats  himself  on  the  sofa,  spreads 
more  butter  o«  the  already  buttered  bread, 
and  eats  and  diinks  awhile  in  silence. 


Could  I,  without  being  subject  to  intrusion — 
intrusion  of  any  sort — could  I  live  in  the  sitting- 
room  there  for  a  day  or  two  ? 


Yes,  to  be  sure  you  could,  if  you  only  would. 


For  I  see  no  possibility  of  getting  all  father's 
things  out  in  such  a  hurry. 

384  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT   V. 


And  besides,  you've  surely  got  to  tell  him  first 
as  you  don't  mean  to  live  with  us  others  no  more. 


[Pushes  away  his  coffee  cup.]     Yes,  there  is  that 
too  ;  I  shall  have  to  lay  bare  the  whole  tangled 

story  to  him .      I  must  turn  matters  over;  I 

must  have  breathing-time  ;   I  cannot  take  all  these 
burdens  on  my  shoulders  in  a  single  day. 


No,  especially  in  such  horrible  weather  as  it  is 


[Tonching  Werle's  letter.]     I  see  that  paper  is 
still  lying  about  here. 


Yes,  /  haven't  touched  it. 


So  far   as    I    am   concerned  it  is   mere  waste 


Well,  /  have  certainly  no  notion  of  making  any 
use  of  it. 


-but  we  had  better  not  let  it  get  lost  all  the 

same  ;— in  all  the  upset  when  I  move,  it  might 



I'll  take  good  care  of  it,  Ekdal. 


The  donation  is  in  the  first  instance   made  to 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  38.5 

father,  and  it  rests  with  him  to  accept  or  de- 
cline it. 


[Sighs.]     Yes,  poor  old  father 


To  make   quite  safe Where  shall  I  find 

some  gum .'' 


[Goes  to  the  bookcase  ]     Here's  the  gum-pot. 


And  a  brush  ? 


The  brush  is  here  too.         [Bmig.s  him  the  Ihings. 


[Takes  a  pair  of  scissors."]     Just  a  strip  of  paper 

at  the  back [Clips  and  gums.]     Far  be  it  from 

me  to  lay  hands  upon  what  is  not  my  own — and 
least  of  all  upon  what  belongs  to  a  destitute  old 
man — and  to — the  other  as  well. — There  now, 
Let  it  lie  there  for  a  time  ;  and  w  hen  it  is  dry, 
take  it  away.  I  wish  never  to  see  that  document 
again.     Never ! 

Gregers  Werle  enters  from  the  passage. 

[Somewhat  surprised.]      What, — are   you   sitting 
here,  Hialmar.'' 


[RLies    hurriedly.]       I    had    sunk    down    from 


You  have  been  having  breakfast,  I  see. 

386  THE    WILD    DUCK. 


The  bod}'  sometimes  makes  its  claims  felt  too. 

VVMiat  have  you  decided  to  do  .'' 


For  a  man  like  me,  there  is  only  one  course  pos- 
sible. 1  am  just  putting  my  most  important  things 
together.     But  it  takes  time,  you  know. 


[  fVii/i  a  touch  ofiwpafience.]  Am  I  to  get  the  room 
ready  for  you,  or  am  I  to  pack  your  portmanteau  ? 


['ij'ter  a  glance  of  amioyancc  at  Gregers.]  Pack 
— and  get  the  room  ready  I 


[Takes  the  portmanteau.^  Very  well ;  then  I'll  put 
in  the  shirt  and  the  othei  things. 

[Goes  into  the  sitting-loom  arid  draws  the 
door  to  after  her. 

[After  a  short  silence.]   1  never  dreamed  that  this 
would   be  the  end  of  it.      Do  you  really  feel  it  a 
necessity  to  leave  house  and  home .'' 


[Wanders  about  restlessly.]  What  would  you  have 
me  do .'' — I  am  not  fitted  to  bear  unhappiness, 
(iregers.  I  must  feel  secure  and  at  peace  in  my 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  387 

But  can  you  not  feel  that  here  ?    Just  try  it     I 
should  have  thought  you  had  firm  ground  to  build 
upon   now — if   only  you   start   afresh.     And    re- 
member, you  have  your  invention  to  live  for. 


Oh  don't  talk  about  my  invention.  It's  perhaps 
still  in  the  dim  distance. 

Indeed  ' 


Why,  great  heavens,  what  would  you  have  me 
invent .''  Other  pe.»ple  have  invented  almost  every- 
thing already.    It  becomes  more  and  more  difficult 

every  day 


And  you  have  devoted  so  much  labour  to  it. 


It  was  that  blackguard  Relling  that  urged  me 
to  it. 

Relling  ? 


Yes,  it  was  he  that  first  made  me  realise  my 
aptitude  for  making  some  notable  discovery  in 


Aha — it  was  Relling  ! 


Oh,  I  have  been  so  truly  happy  over  it !    Not  so 

388  THE    WILD    DUCK.  [aCT 

much  for  the  sake  of  the  invention  itself,  as 
because  Hedvig  believed  in  it — believed  in  it  with 
a  child's  whole  eagerness  of  faith.  — At  least,  I  have 
been  fool  enough  to  go  and  imagine  that  she 
belreved  in  it. 

Can  you   really  think  that   Hedvig  has    been 
false  towards  you  .'' 


I  can  think  anything  now.  It  is  Hedvig  that 
stands  in  my  way.  She  will  blot  out  the  sunlight 
from  my  whole  life. 

Hedvig  I  Is  it  Hedvig  you  are  talking  of  .^  How 
should  she  blot  out  your  sunlight.^ 


[Without  ansrvering.]  How  unutterably  I  have 
loved  that  child  I  How  unutterably  happy  I  have 
felt  every  time  I  came  home  to  my  humble  room, 
and  she  flew  to  meet  me,  with  her  sweet  little 
blinking  eyes.  Oh,  confiding  fool  that  I  have  been  ! 
I  loved  her  unutterably ; — and  I  yielded  myself  up 
to  the  dream,  the  delusion,  that  she  loved  me 
unutterably  in  return. 

Do  you  call  that  a  delusion  ? 


How  should  I  know  .'*  I  can  get  nothing  out  of 
Gina  ;  and  besides,  she  is  totally  blind  to  the  ideal 
side  of  these  complications.  But  to  you  I  feel 
impelled  to  open   my  mind,   Gregers.     I  cannot 

v.]  TIIK    WILD     DUCK.  889 

shake  off  this  frightful   doubt — perhaps   Hedvig 
has  never  really  and  honestly  loved  me. 

What  would  you  say  if  she  were  to  give  you  a 
proof  of  her   love  ?    [Listens.]     What's  that  ?     I 
thought  I  heard  the  wild  duck ? 


It's  the  wild  duck  quacking.  Father's  in  the 


Is  he  .''  [His  face  lights  up  with  joy.]  I  say  you 
may  yet  have  proof  that  your  poor  misunderstood 
Hedvig  loves  you ! 

Oh,  what  proof  can  she  give  me  ?      I  dare  not 
believe  in  any  assurances  from  that  quarter. 

Hedvig  does  not  know  what  deceit  means. 


Oh  Gregers,  that  is  just  what  I  cannot  be  sure 
of.  Who  knows  what  Gina  and  that  Mrs.  Sorby 
may  many  a  time  have  sat  here  whispering  and 
tattling  about  ?  And  Hedvig  usually  has  her  ears 
open,  I  can  tell  you.  Perhaps  the  deed  of  gift 
was  not  such  a  surprise  to  her,  after  all.  In  fact, 
I'm  not  sure  but  that  I  noticed  something  of  the 


What  spirit  is  this  that  has  taken  possession  of 
you  } 

.'jyO  TIIK     WII.  I)    OUCK,  [act    V. 


I  have  had  my  eyes  opened.  Just  you  notice; — 
you'll  see,  the  deed  of  gift  is  only  a  beginning. 
Mrs.  Sorby  has  always  been  a  good  deal  taken 
up  with  Hedvig ;  and  now  she  has  the  power  to 
do  whatever  she  likes  for  the  child.  They  can 
take  her  from  me  whenever  they  please. 

Hedvig  will  never,  never  leave  you. 


Don't  be  so  sure  of  that.     If  only  they  beckon 

to  her  and  throw  out  a  golden  bait !    And  oh! 

I  have  loved  her  so  unspeakably !  I  would  have 
counted  it  my  highest  happiness  to  take  her  ten- 
derly by  the  hand  and  lead  her,  as  one  leads  a 
timid  child  through  a  great  dark  empty  room  ! — 
I  am  cruelly  certain  now  that  the  poor  photo- 
gi-apher  in  his  humble  attic  has  never  really  and 
truly  been  anything  to  her.  She  has  only  cun- 
ningly contrived  to  keep  on  a  good  footing  with 
him  until  the  time  came. 

You  don't  believe  that  yourself,  Hialmar. 


That  is  just  the  terrible  part  of  it — I  don't  know 
what  to  believe, —  I  never  can  know  it.  But  can 
you  really  doubt  that  it  must  be  as  I  say  ?  Ho-ho, 
you  have  far  too  much  faith  in  the  claim  of  the 
ideal,  my  good  Gregers  !  If  those  others  came, 
with  the  glamour  of  wealth  about  them,  and  called 
to  the  child  : — "  Leave  him  •  come  to  us  :  here  life 
awaits  you— —  ' '' 

ACT    v.]  TIIK     WILD     DUCK.  3i)\ 

[Quick/y.]     Well,  what  then  ? 


It"  I  then  asked  her:  Hedvig,  are  you  willing  to 
renounce  that  life  for  me?  [Laughs  scornfiilli/.] 
No  thank  you  !  ^'ou  would  soon  hear  what  answer 
I  should  get. 

[A   pistol   shot    is   heard    from  within  the 

[Loudly  and  joyfully.^     Hialmar  I 


There  now  ;  he  must  needs  go  shooting  too. 


[Comes  iw.]  Oh  Ekdal,  I  can  hear  grandfather 
blazing  away  in  the  garret  by  hisself. 


I'll  look  in 

[Eagerly,  with  emotion. ^\  Wait  a  moment '  Do  you 
know  what  that  was  } 

Yes,  of  course  I  know. 

No  you  don't  know.    But  /  do.     That  was  the 
proof ! 

What  proof.* 

'J[)2  THE    wii-u    i)r(  K.  [act  v. 

It  was  a  child's  free-will  offering.    She  has  got 
your  father  to  shoot  the  wild  duck. 


To  shoot  the  wild  duck  I 


Oh,  think  of  that ! 


What  was  that  for  ? 

She  wanted  to  sacrifice  to  yoti  her  most  cherished 
possession  ;  for  then  she  thought  you  would  surely 
come  to  love  her  again. 


\Tenderly,  with  emotion J\    Oh,  poor  child  ' 

What  things  she  does  think  of ' 

She  only  wanted  your  love  again,  Hialmar.  She 
could  not  live  without  it. 


[^li'i'ggfing  with  her  fears.]  There,  you  can  see  for 
yourself,  Ekdal. 


Gina,  where  is  she  .'' 


[Sniff's.l     Poor  dear,    she's    sitting   out  in    the 
kitchen,  I  dare  say. 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  3y.'i 


[Goes  over,  tears  open  the  kitchen  door,  and  says :] 
Hedvig,  come,  come  in  to  me  !  [Looks  round.^  No, 
she's  not  here. 


Then  she  must  be  in  her  own  little  room. 


[Without.']  No,  she's  not  here  either.  [Comes 
in!\     She  must  have  gone  out. 


Yes,  you  wouldn't  have  her  anywheres  in  the 


Oh,  if  she  would  only  come  home  quickly,  so 

that    I  can  tell  her Everything  will   come 

right  now,  Gregers ;  now  I  believe  we  can  begin 
life  afresh. 


[Qidetly.']  I  knew  it ;  I  knew  the  child  would 
make  amends. 

Old  Ekdal  appears  at  the  door  of  his  room  ;  he 
is  in  full  Jiniform,  and  is  busy  buckling  on  his 


[Astonished.]     Father !     Are  you  there  } 


Have  you  been  firing  in  your  room  ? 

[Resentfully,  approaching^     So  you  go  shooting 
alone,  do  you,  Hialmar  } 

394  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 


[Excited   and   coti fused.]      Then    it    wasn't    you 
that  fired  that  shot  in  the  garret  ? 

Me  that  fired?     H'm. 

[Calls  out  to  HiALMAR.]     She  has  shot  the  wild 
(luck  herself! 

What  can  it  mean  ?     [Hastens  to  the  garret  door, 
tears  it  aside,  looks  in  and  calls  lotidli/:]     Hedvig  ! 


[Runs  to  the  door.^     Good  God,  what's  that ! 

[Goes  in.]     She's  lying  on  the  floor  I 

Hedvig  !  lying  on  the  floor  ! 

[Goes  in  to  Hialmar, 


[At  the  same  time.]     Hedvig  !     [Inside  the  garret.] 
No,  no,  no  ! 

Ho-ho  !  does  she  go  shooting  too,  now  ? 

[Hialmar,  Gina,  and  Gregers  carry 
Hedvig  into  the  studio  ;  in  her  dangling 
right  hand  she  holds  the  pistol  fast 
clasped  in  her  fingers. 

[Distracted.]     The  pistol  has  gone  off".     She  has 
wounded  herself.     Call  for  help  !     Help  ' 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD     DUCK.  395 


[Runs  hilo  the  passage  and  calls  down.]  Relling  ! 
Relling  I  Doctor  Relling ;  come  up  as  quick  as 
you  can ! 

[HiALMAR  a7id  Gregers  lai/  Hedvig  doTvn 
on  the  sofa. 

[Quietly.]     The  woods  avenge  themselves. 


[On  his  knees  beside  Hedvig.]  She'll  soon  come 
to  now.     She's  coming  to ;  yes,  yes,  yes. 


[  Who  has  come  in  again.]  Where  has  she  hurt 
herself.''  I  can't  see  anything 

[Relling  comes  hurriedly,  and  immediaiclij 
after  him  Molvik  ;  the  latter  without  his 
waistcoat  and  necktie,  and  with  his  coat 

What's  the  matter  here  } 


They  say  Hedvig  has  shot  herself. 


Come  and  help  us  ! 

Shot  herself! 

[He  pushes  the  table  aside  and  begins  to 
examine  her. 


[Kneeling  and  looking  ajixiously  up  at  him.]     It 

3f)6  TlIK     WILD     I)l'(  K.  [act    V. 

can't    be     danpjerous  ?      Speak,   Relling !     She  is 
scarcely  bleeding  at  all.     It  can't  be  dangerous? 

How  did  it  happen  ? 


Oh,  we  don't  know ! 


She  wanted  to  shoot  the  wild  duck. 

The  wild  duck  .'' 


The  pistol  must  have  gone  off". 

H'm.     Indeed. 

The  woods  avenge    themselves.      But    I'm   not 
afraid,  all  the  same. 

[Goes  into  the  garret  and  closes  the  door 
after  him. 


Well,  Relling, — why  don't  you  saj^  something  ? 

The  ball  has  entered  the  breast. 


Yes,  but  she's  coming  to  ! 

Surely  you  can  see  that  Hedvig  is  dead. 

ACT    v.]  THE    WILD    DUCK.  397 


[Bursts  into  tears.  J     Oh  my  childj  my  child 

[Huskili/.]     In  the  depths  of  the  sea 


\ Jumps  ?//;.]  No,  no,  she  must  live  !  Oh,  for 
God's  sake,  Relling — only  a  moment — only  just 
till  I  can  tell  her  how  unspeakably  I  loved  her  all 
the  time  ! 


The  bullet  has  gone  through  her  heart.  Internal 
hemorrhage.   Death  must  have  been  instantaneous. 


And  I  I  I  hunted  her  from  me  like  an  animal  ! 
And  she  crept  terrified  into  the  garret  and  died 
for  love  of  me  !     [So/)bi7ig.^     I  can  never  atone  to 

her !      I    can    never   tell    her !     [Clenches   his 

hands  and  cries,  upwards.]     O  thou  above 1     If 

thou  be  indeed  !     Why  hast  thou  done  this  thing 
to  me  .'' 


Hush,  hush,  you  mustn't  go  on  that  av/ful  way. 
We  had  no  right  to  keep  her,  I  suppose. 


The  child  is  not  dead,  but  sleepeth. 



[Becomes  calm,  goes  over  to  the  sofa,  folds  his 
arms,  and  looks  at  Hedvig.]  There  she  lies  so  stiff 
and  still. 

398  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 

[Tries  lo  loosen  f he  pistol.]     She's   holding  it  so 
tight,  so  tight. 


No,  no,  Relling,  don't  break  her  fingers  ;  let 
the  pigstol  be. 


She  shall  take  it  with  her. 


Yes,  let  her.  But  the  child  mustn't  lie  here  for 
a  show.  She  shall  go  to  her  own  room,  so  she 
shall       Help  me,  Ekdal. 

[HiALMAR  and  GiNA  lake  Hedvig  between 


[As  theij  are  carrying  her.]  Oh  Gina,  Gina,  can 
vou  survive  this  I 


We  must  help  each  other  to  bear  it.  For  now 
at  least  she  belongs  to  both  of  us. 


[Stretches  out  his  arms  and  mumbles.]  Blessed 
l)e  the  Lord  ;  to  earth  thou  shalt  return ;  to  earth 
thou  shalt  return 

[  IVki.spers.]     Hold  your  tongue,  you  fool ;  you're 

[HiALMAR  and  Gina  carrij  the  body  ant 
through  the  kitchen  door.  Relling  .shuts 
it  after  them.  Molvik  slinks  out  into  the 

ACT    v.]  THE     WILD     DUCK.  399 

[Goes  over  to  Gregers  and  xaij.s :]     No  one  shall 
ever   convince    me   that    the    pistol    went  off  by 

[Who  has  stood  leni/ied,  with  convulsive  Iwitchings.] 
Who  can  say  how  the  dreadful  thing  happened  ? 

The  powder  has  burnt  the  body  of  her  dress. 
She  must  have   pressed   the   pistol   right  against 
her  breast  and  fired. 

Hedvig  has  not  died  in  vain.     Did  you  not  see 
how  sorrow  set  free  what  is  noble  in  him  ? 

Most  people  are  ennobled  by  the  actual  presence 
of   death.     But    how    long    do    you    suppose  this 
nobility  will  last  in  him.^ 

Why  should  it  not  endure  and  increase  through- 
out his  life .'' 


Before  a  year   is    over,   little    Hedvig    will  be 
nothing  to  him  but  a  pretty  theme  for  declamation. 

How  dare  you  say  that  of  HialmarEkdal  ? 

We  will  talk  of  this  again,  when  the  grass  has 
first  withered  on  her  grave.     Then   you'll  hear 

400  THE    WILD     DUCK.  [aCT    V. 

luni  sp(nitin<j  about  "  the  child  too  early  torn  from 
her  father's  heart ;  "  then  you'll  see  him  steep 
himself  in  a  syrup  of  sentiment  and  self-admiration 
and  self-pity.     Just  you  wait ! 

If  you  are  right  and  I  am  wrong,  then  life  is  not 
worth  living. 


Oh,  life  would  be  quite  tolerable,  after  all,  if 
only  we  could  be  rid  of  the  confounded  duns  that 
',  keep  on   pestering  us,   in  our  poverty,  with  the 
(  claim  of  the  ideal. 

[Looking  straight  before  Am.]     In  that  case,  I  am 
glad  that  my  destiny  is  what  it  is. 

May  I  inquire, — what  is  your  destiny? 

[Going.]     To  be  the  thirteenth  at  table. 

The  devil  it  is. 

the  end. 


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